No one could guess my papa’s age when they first saw him. He had such a personality that my mom had a hard time keeping him from flattering young ladies. My mom’s annoyance gave him real pleasure. He was really fit with regular walks and pranayam and his group of friends envied his fitness. Just 2 weeks before his 70th birthday, I got a call from my mother saying, that Papa had slipped and fallen outside the bathroom and then I had to rush home. A hip fracture and surgery later, dad is a different person altogether, with little mobility and loss of independence he has become very cranky and depressed.
Elderly people slipping and falling is common story we all hear. Growing age, weak bones and lack of balance often leads to slips and falls. As the bones are brittle they are more likely to break and fracture which brings pain and loss of independence. Most of these slips and falls could have been prevented if proper care would have been taken.
Here are some of the ways in which you can prevent the falls and slips by eliminating the dangers in your house:
Clear clutter- Clutter hinders movement, and makes you fall. Clear all the unwanted things on the floor if you are living with your parents. Remove the newspapers, toys, magazines. Loose wires of phones and cables can also cause falls in elderly if they are unseen. They should be removed immediately.
Keep away- Carpets and mats on the floor that are loose, having bulges and with curled ends need to be taken care of or replaced.
Non skid bath mats- Where is the common area that you hear people fall? – The bathroom, of course. So buy non skid bath mats that have grip and place them on the bathroom floor and near the bathroom door. Take care near soapy water and place a stool in the bathroom.
Secure your footing- When outside make sure they use footwear with good footing and traction. Also, avoid footwear with laces as they can step on them and fall. Tell them to use walking stick when they don’t feel steady and let them take it with them when outside.
Grab these- Grab bars are the rods that provide support. Fix these around the bathroom and put a railing on the staircase so that they get enough balance.
Check your balance– A simple tip you can pass on to your parents is, after getting up from lying, sit on the corner of the bed and check if your head is not dizzy and you are feeling steady, only then should you try to move.
Let there be light- Make it a rule to not move in an area if it is not properly lit. There might be objects strewn that can cause them to fall. Also install night lights in their room which is close by and within reach so that they use it to go to the bathroom at night.
Other tips to prevent falls are- Telling your parents about the location of small risks like small stools, cupboards, extra stair, uneven surfaces in the house so that they take care. By making sure they check their eyes regularly and wear appropriate eyewear for reading and regular purpose. By telling them to never rush off to answer phones or door, also get many extensions of the telephone around the house so that they can reach it easily without much effort.To read more about Simple ways to prevent Falls and Slips in Elderly