Appreciating fall prevention best practice guidelines is a subject that caregivers need to take extremely seriously. To put this observation into perspective, recent studies have observed that one in three people aged 65 and over falls every year and two-thirds of these individuals fall again within six months. This can lead to serious consequences for patients, such as broken bones, long periods of rehabilitation and in some cases, life-threatening injuries. It can also have damaging mental effects, such as a lack of confidence and fear of leaving your home. Therefore, professionals and carers need to be aware of the steps to take to manage the associated risks.
Knowing how to prevent slips, trips and falls can nonetheless be challenging. This primarily arises from the fact that different individuals are associated with different risk levels. Furthermore, not all elderly caregivers are aware of the latest techniques. In this post, we will quickly examine some professional recommendations for fall prevention best practice guidelines as well as how a fall management system can be realistically implemented.
Fall Prevention Systems
In terms of appreciating fall prevention best practice guidelines, it is first important to list the types of practical approaches which can be taken within the home or a professional care environment.
For instance, ensuring that areas are properly illuminated can help to avoid slips and trips. Providing elderly individuals with the correct shoes and cleaning up any clutter are other excellent approaches to embrace. It is also recommended to provide certain systems such as grab rails within areas that are more likely to witness falls, including stairwells and bathrooms.
Professional caregivers should likewise instruct those under their supervision to avoid loose clothing, as these may also pose a tripping or falling hazard. This approach can be further reinforced by installing non-slip flooring surfaces. There are many items available that can dramatically decrease accidents and the installation processes are generally straightforward.
Now that we have looked at a handful of logical practices and guidelines for fall prevention, how can caregivers also benefit from having a plan in place? Let’s learn how preparation is key in this respect.
Fall Prevention Care Plans
Many elderly individuals are often taking some type of medication for certain ailments. Some of these substances can cause side effects such as dizziness and vertigo. Be sure to speak with a doctor to better appreciate the associated risks. Regarding over-the-counter medicines, certain chemicals, such as some ingredients found within antihistamines, can likewise lead to drowsiness and blurred vision. Understanding these potential hazards will aid in the supervision process. There may also be times when it is better to switch to a different prescription so that unwanted symptoms can be avoided.
Proactivity is also very important; particularly if the individual will be left alone for periods. Personal medical alert systems, such as an alarm band that can be attached to the wrist and activated, when necessary, will contact the authorities in the event of an accident. Otherwise, help may not arrive until hours after the incident has occurred. No one wants to be found in such a situation.
Timely medical examinations are another useful strategy. This is especially important in terms of eyesight and hearing. Some elderly patients may not realise that a problem exists if it is allowed to develop over months or even years. Therefore, most professionals recommend scheduling a routine examination at least once every six months. In addition to these tips, here are some other practices and guidelines for fall prevention:
- Create a list of all medical conditions and/or medications that can be provided to a doctor in the event of a fall.
- Record the details of previous incidents, as these will often be used to develop even more targeted care strategies.
- Install a bed fall prevention crash mat. If the individual falls out, the chances of injury will be dramatically reduced.
The last point highlights how certain types of equipment can be installed within domestic or professional settings. This brings us to the next main section, where we will discuss some equipment that can be used or installed in your living quarters that can help for fall prevention and fall management.
Elderly Fall Prevention Devices
Adopting the best practices and guidelines for fall prevention should always be accompanied by the use of an effective fall management system, such as the CURBELL Fall Management System. This device has monitors and sensors that make reducing falls and minimising injuries much easier. This device is simple to use for both staff and carers and makes their duties easier and patients more comfortable. To avoid any potential false alarms, the device has a delay control for when a patient momentarily moves off the sensor pad, as well as an easy access reset button. The monitors on this device also allow connection to a nurse call system, a call cord for increased notification capabilities and AC power. For everyday activities and movement, there are plenty of other types of equipment that can prevent injuries.
For instance, a heavy-duty rollator will enable the elderly to transport everyday items such as groceries while simultaneously providing extra support when walking. A mechanical reaching aid can also be useful around the home when accessing items that might be dangerous to grab due to a loss of balance.
A hospital bed is another essential piece of equipment to have in a nursing home or when caring for a loved one. When coupled with a medical air mattress, a profiling hospital bed can help reduce the danger of falls, providing the ultimate level of support and comfort. Given that purchasing a hospital bed for a home setting is a big decision, O’Flynn medical offers a hospital bed rental service to see if it suits your needs.
These elderly fall prevention devices have all been proven highly effective and they can help to avert possibly serious consequences. However, it is also important to consult with a trained medical professional to better determine which systems are the most appropriate for your needs. Let’s also remember that elderly individuals should be informed about how these systems work so that they are used correctly. Fortunately, the team here at O’Flynn Medical will always be happy to address any questions that you may have.
Being Prepared for Any Eventuality
Understanding the best practices and guidelines for fall prevention involves intuition, foresight, and an appreciation of the options at your disposal. The good news is that medical technology has come a long way in recent years. While traditional devices such as walking sticks are certainly useful, there are a host of other options at your disposal.
However, creating a go-to plan in the event of a slip or a fall is just as crucial. What types of physical risks are present? Might a fall exacerbate a current medical condition? Which emergency services should be notified? What are some of the ways that caregivers can eliminate hazards around the home or facility? These and similar questions will provide the insight required to make informed choices at the appropriate times. They can also shorten response times; an important factor in terms of receiving treatment as soon as possible.
Let’s also remember that fall prevention might not always involve an elderly individual. For example, those who are recovering from surgery at any age may require mobility assistance such as the temporary use of a wheelchair, which can be used for a short term through our wheelchair rental service. A person hoist and stand aids are another great option of equipment to use to help prevent falls in the home. They can be used to help a patient get in and out of bed, bath or wheelchair safely and comfortably. They are very useful for anyone who has temporary or permanent mobility issues due to injury after a fall.
These relatively short-term situations can be catered to by the rental services offered by O’Flynn Medical. Those who are curious to learn more should contact us at their convenience.
Putting it All Together
Believe it or not, it is estimated that up to 30 per cent of all falls can be avoided with the proper intervention and preparation. This is critical when we consider how many individuals suffer injuries every year. As always, O’Flynn Medical are here to help if you wish to obtain the latest services and accessories.
Contact Us Today
From devices intended to provide assisted mobility to systems that can be permanently installed within a home, there are many options at your disposal. If you or someone you care for requires additional help, don’t hesitate to contact us today for more advice for fall prevention best practice guidelines. We also encourage you to have a closer look at our range of medical equipment to understand the unique advantages of each. The best practices and guidelines for fall prevention are easy to adopt if we take advantage of the effective strategies highlighted throughout this article.