By South Cove Manor
A breakfast seminar took place Jan. 25 at Boston Chinese Evangelical Church, hosted by South Cove Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. About 40 seniors learned about preventing falls at home presented by So Yee Ng , manager of Midtown Home Health Services , who has worked in senior care for over 30 years.
Falls are the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide, of which, adults older than 65 years of age suffer the greatest number of the fatal falls, according to the World Health Organization. While all people who fall are at risk of injury, the age of the person is one of the key risk factors for falls. According to WHO, older people have the highest risk of death or serious injury arising from a fall and the risk increases with age.
If you have seniors living at home, either by themselves or with other family members, it is important to pay special attention to the placement of furniture and equipment to help seniors to walk easily and properly. Ng shared some helpful tips to prevent falls at home. She also demonstrated how to get in and out of a bathtub safely.
- Clean up clutter. The easiest method for preventing falls is to keep your home neat and tidy. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers and magazines, toys, shoes, especially from hallways and staircases.
- Repair or remove tripping hazards. Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls, which can then lead to back pain and other injuries. She recommended look for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, do not use old t-shirt for floor mopping.
- Install grab bars and handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms and porches, can become extremely dangerous when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, Ng recommended nonslip mats.
- Wear shoes. Ng also recommended seniors wear no slip shoes or non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet.
- Move more carefully, using a cane or walker.
If you accidentally fall down on the floor, you can try to stand up with the support of any stable furniture, such as tables and sofas. If you find it impossible to stand up by yourself, people nearby should ascertain the cause and act accordingly. If a suspicious fracture happens, instead of trying to standing up or helping the senior up, it’s more critical to call medical services quickly.
The next breakfast seminar will take place Feb. 22.
This post is also available in: Chinese