Make changes to environment to avoid falls, expert suggests

Posted on 19 May 2011

Older people who are not yet paying for care may need to make some changes to their home in order to avoid falls.

According to Vicky Johnston, specialist physiotherapist in falls prevention at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, the home should be kept clutter free in order to minimise obstacles.

The expert adds that any loose rugs, carpet or wires should be removed, and if not, taped down to cut the risk of tripping. Spills should also be cleared up as they happen.

Ms Johnston also emphasised the importance of good lighting in the home, especially when it comes to areas such as hallways and stairways which are notoriously dark and therefore hazardous.

In the National Audit of Falls and Bone Health in Older People carried out by the royal College of Physicians, there was found to be an unacceptable variation in care and prevention of falls and fractures in the NHS.

Older patients with fractures did not routinely receive key aspects of care for falls prevention or bone health, according to the audit, increasing their chance of falling again.

Written by Megan Smith

 

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