In this article we look at tips for fall prevention at home in the elderly. These fall prevention tips will help safeguard your senior loved ones from unnecessary falls and will also minimize the injuries they suffer as a result.
Most injuries suffered by elder citizens are a result of falls suffered due to their inability to maintain business. The frequency of falls tends to grow as we age, because our physical condition and bones aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Personal risk factors such as muscle weakness can also lead to falls in older adults. Additionally, since the body isn’t as strong as it used to be, even a slight fall can cause significant damage to the bones and other parts of the body. Hence seniors falling due to weakness is never a good sign as it can cause significant damage and injury to their bodies.
Fall Prevention In The Elderly Checklist
1- Living in old age Make the household fall-proof
In old age, the simplest everyday activities become more difficult. The risk of falling increases. For many, however, moving out of their own four walls is out of the question. Set up the household more securely with the tips.
2- Causes of falls within your own four walls
Over 88,000 older people aged 65 and over fall each year. The causes are varied. Physical factors such as lack of strength, unsteady balance or poor eyesight play a role. But external aspects such as slippery floors, missing handrails or poor lighting also lead to falls.
Steadfast tips for living in old age – checklist
Of course, it’s always best if an apartment or house is built securely from the start. In order to reduce the risk of falling within your own four walls, you can also do a lot yourself – by making your household as safe as possible from falling.
You can find a detailed checklist with measures for living in old age in the brochure “Self-employed into old age”. Go through the list and make your household safer.
For those in a hurry, a few simple measures have already been highlighted at this point:
Illuminate the apartment well – especially important for stairs, e.g. B. by brighter light bulbs
Put aside tripping hazards such as cables lying around
Apply anti-slip strips in the bathtub and shower
Make the edges of the stairs visible with anti-skid strips
Place anti-skid mats under carpets
Screw furniture and shelves to the wall where possible – so you can hold on in an emergency
With the help of professionals, you can even go a step further:
1- Equip the apartment with non-slip floor coverings, v. a. in the bathroom and kitchen
2- Fit grab bars and special seats in the shower and bathtub
3- Have damaged stairs repaired immediately
4- Illuminate stairs brightly – but the light must not be dazzling
5- Provide stairs with handrails on both sides.
FALL PREVENTION TIPS FOR THE ELDERLY:
Interventions To Prevent Falls In Older Adults
Fall prevention interventions for the elderly in care facilities and hospitals
How effective are fall prevention interventions for the elderly in care facilities and hospitals?
Falls of the elderly in care facilities, such as nursing homes, and in hospitals are common events that can result in loss of independence, injury, and sometimes death as a result of the injury. Effective fall prevention interventions are therefore important.
Many types of interventions are used. These include exercise, drug interventions such as vitamin D supplementation, and review of medication people are taking. In addition, the interventions include adjustments in the home environment, the use of technical aids such as alarm systems on beds or chairs or the use of special low-floor beds.
Interventions in the social environment are aimed at the nursing staff, changes in the organizational system and interventions to impart knowledge.
A special type of intervention is multifactorial intervention, in which the selection of individual interventions, such as exercise and vitamin D supplementation, is based on an assessment of the individual’s risk factors for falls.
Falls are reported in two ways in our review. One end point is the fall rate. This means the number of falls. The other endpoint is the risk of falling. This means the number of people who fell one or more times.Research date
The review authors searched the medical literature through August 2017 for reports of randomized controlled trials relevant to this review.
This review includes 95 randomized controlled trials with 138,164 participants. Participants from 71 studies (40,374 people) were housed in care facilities and from 24 studies (97,790 participants) in hospitals. On average, participants were 84 years old in care facilities and 78 years old in hospitals. In nursing homes, 75% of participants were women and in hospitals, 52%.
Quality of the evidence
The majority of the studies were at high risk of bias, mostly due to the lack of blinding. With a few exceptions, the quality of the evidence for individual interventions was rated as low or very low in both settings. The risk of fractures and adverse events were generally inadequately reported and when they were reported the evidence was of very low quality meaning we are uncertain about the estimates.
There was evidence for a wide range of interventions used for fall prevention in both settings, often from individual studies. However, below we summarize only the fall endpoints for four main interventions in care facilities and three main interventions in hospitals.
The review authors are uncertain about the effect of exercise on the fall rate (very low quality evidence) and may make little or no difference in risk of falling (low quality evidence).
General medication review may make little or no difference in fall rate (low quality evidence) or risk of falls (low quality evidence).
Prescribing vitamin D likely reduces the rate of falls (moderate quality evidence) but is likely to make little or no difference in risk of falls (moderate quality evidence). The populations included in these studies appeared to have low levels of vitamin D.
We are uncertain about the impact of multifactorial interventions on the fall rate (very low quality evidence). They likely make little or no difference in risk of falling (low quality evidence).
The authors are unsure whether physiotherapy, which is specifically aimed at reducing falls, in addition to usual rehabilitation in the ward, has an effect on the fall rate or reduces the risk of falls (very low quality of evidence).
There is a certain degree of uncertainty among the authors of the review about the effect of alarm systems on the bed on the fall rate or the risk of falls (very low quality of evidence).
Multifactorial interventions may reduce the rate of falls, but this is more likely in a rehabilitation or geriatric ward (low quality evidence). From the authors’ point of view, the effects of these interventions on the risk of falls are unclear.
Falls Prevention Strategies In Aged Care
Everyone knows this situation: You are sitting in the train on the way to the city and an older woman gets on.
You politely offer her your seat so she doesn’t have to stand. But what to do when suddenly every third passenger is 70 years or older? It could look like this soon – in the year 2060. Fortunately, there are geriatric nurses who support seniors in their everyday lives.
However, the training no longer exists in this form since January 2020. Since then, generalist nursing training has replaced training as a geriatric nurse – but don’t worry: with the new training, you will be even better positioned for the care sector.
What will change with the new generalist nursing training?
The nursing professions have been reformed: Since January 2020, you can no longer start training as a geriatric nurse. There is now a new nursing training that replaces the three previous training courses in care for the elderly, in health and nursing, and in health and children’s nursing.
This new training is called nursing specialist and bundles the contents of the previously separate professions.
The reason: Nursing trainees should be even more broadly positioned for their careers.
That means: You can later work as a nurse in the hospital, in the retirement home and in the field of child care. The reform was implemented on the basis of the new Nursing Act. You can find more information in our guide to the new nursing training!
What does a geriatric nurse do?
Supervision and care: As a geriatric nurse, you support elderly people in need in coping with their everyday lives. You will help them with personal hygiene, with dressing and undressing and make sure that they consume enough food and water.
The focus of your work is to motivate very old people to meaningful activities and to interact with their peers so that they can have fun in their everyday life and age with dignity. Your work also includes accompanying dying people, looking after relatives and caring for them after death. For example, you close the deceased’s eyes and fold their hands to make them look peaceful.
Administration of medication: Elderly carers also take on therapeutic and medical treatments, especially in outpatient care.
On a doctor’s prescription, they measure the pulse, temperature, blood pressure or even the blood sugar level of the person being cared for. In the event of an injury or chronic illness, they administer medication, change bandages and give IV fluids.
Support in personal and social matters:
So that older people can organize their everyday life in a meaningful way, you support them in leading an independent life. In addition to personal hygiene and regulated food intake, it is important that daily routines are meaningful and varied.
Means: The person to be cared for likes to play backgammon? Then you organize a game of games with other seniors.
In difficult life situations, geriatric nurses are available to provide support and are always ready to listen to personal matters. If they have an important doctor’s appointment or have to clarify matters with the office, you accompany them.
Advice for relatives: Relatives also need your advice. You can expect them to come up to you with questions. That is why you are in constant contact with relatives, informing them about the state of health and the care measures.
In many cases relatives also take care of the care. If this is the case, you teach them the necessary care techniques and inform them about the daily dose of the necessary medication.
Documentation of maintenance measures and administrative activities:
So that you have an overview of all maintenance measures, you document them carefully and conscientiously. You monitor the state of health and note changes and abnormalities.
If necessary, you will consult with the responsible doctors. In addition, you will take on organizational and administrative tasks, such as accounting for care services or preparing the administration of an estate.
What does that mean? After a patient dies, you make sure that their inheritance is appropriately distributed.
Devices that you come across in everyday work
1- Blood pressure monitors
2- Clinical thermometer
6- PCs with maintenance software
Why should one become a geriatric nurse?
In addition, geriatric nurses are paid according to the collective agreement for the public service, which means that your salary is always regulated. The apprenticeship offers you good and secure career opportunities and numerous employment opportunities in every city.
Where can I work as a geriatric nurse?
As a geriatric nurse, you usually work in nursing homes or old people’s homes. If you are employed by an outpatient care service, you care for the elderly at home – so you visit them several times a day depending on how often they need your help.
Work in rehabilitation clinics, in geriatric and geriatric psychiatric departments of hospitals and in hospices is also possible.
What are the working hours as a geriatric nurse?
Elderly people in need of care need to be looked after around the clock, which is why geriatric nurses work in shifts. Depending on the duty roster, you work early, late or even at night. Weekend work is also common.
What work clothes do geriatric nurses wear?
As a geriatric nurse, as in most health and care professions, you wear protective clothing such as a gown, disposable gloves or, if necessary, a face mask.
What kind of guy do I have to be to be a geriatric nurse?
Helper: For training as a geriatric nurse, it is important that you feel the need to help people. You have to be aware that old people need your support in order to cope with their everyday lives.
You also have to be able to deal with emotionally stressful situations, as it is part of your job to accompany seriously ill people as well as the dying.
People who know people:
A good knowledge of people is an advantage in understanding your patient’s needs. Is he in pain, is something bothering him, or is he just having a bad day? As a geriatric nurse, you need to recognize this and know what steps you need to take to improve your wellbeing again. When dealing with problematic people, it is important to give them new courage to face life.
Athlete: What does a geriatric nurse have to do with physical activity? When caring for the elderly, you are always on the move and manual labor is required.
Bedridden seniors must be properly stored, which is why you have to lift them to change their lying position. If there are things to do outside of the house, you’ll need to put them in the wheelchair and help them overcome barriers. That’s why you should be fit and resilient.
Falls In The Elderly Risk Factors And Prevention
Falls in the elderly
Many elderly people are afraid of falling. Moving less as a result can, however, have exactly the opposite effect: Those who stop being physically active are at greater risk of falling. It is important to recognize dangers in everyday life and thus prevent falls.
What do falls mean in old age?
Visual impairment or occasional dizziness are reasons that can lead to falls in many older people – and these are often not without consequences.
Many seniors are therefore afraid of falling and losing their independence, because they have broken something, for example.
That is understandable, but if you are less physically active for fear of falling, you can have the opposite effect: the risk of falling increases with less movement, and you have a higher risk than someone who is active every day and walks a lot, for example .
It is important to recognize avoidable dangers in everyday life and, if possible, to eliminate them. Exercise training can help you stay flexible and prevent falls. Which measures are sensible depends above all on the personal state of health.
What are the causes of a fall in old age?
Health problems can trigger falls. These include: visual impairments, occasional circulatory weakness or dizziness due to high or low blood pressure. In addition, some diseases can also disturb the sense of balance.
Some medications can also affect alertness and reflexes, leading to falls. These agents mainly include certain sedatives and other psychotropic drugs. The risk of falling can also be increased by the interactions between different drugs.
Obstacles and tripping hazards in your own home or in the immediate vicinity can also cause falls. Raised carpet edges and skirting boards, loose cables, smooth floors or slippery bath mats are particularly dangerous.
An example: Going to the toilet at night only in socks over smooth parquet can increase the risk of falling.
Anyone who has fallen before also has an increased risk of falling again. But there are measures to reduce this risk and take a look for fall prevention .
How often do falls in old age occur?
It is estimated that around 30 out of 100 men and women over 65 years of age fall once a year. The number is higher for home residents than for senior citizens who live at home. Even in people over 65 years of age, most falls are mild and have no serious health consequences.
What are the consequences of falls in old age?
A fall can sometimes result in a bruise or abrasion. Bone fractures result in less than 1 in 10 falls – usually the forearm bones are affected.
Serious complications and limitations can result in broken bones in the hip or thigh. This can then lead to longer hospital stays.
Falls with serious consequences increase the risk of elderly people being in need of care.
Falls can not only have physical consequences, self-confidence can also suffer and make older people feel insecure.
How can falls in old age be prevented?
Certain precautionary measures can be taken to prevent falls. Some of them are relatively easy to implement. For example, your own home can be checked for tripping hazards. These should be eliminated – perhaps with the help of relatives or friends.
Which further measures make sense depends on the personal and health condition.
Exercise programs, walking aids, the therapy of certain health problems, new glasses or even stopping medication can all help to prevent falls, for example.
Those who keep moving actively protect themselves from falls. It is especially good for older people to be physically flexible – also in order to remain as independent as possible, these are the best fall preventiontips.
Fall Prevention Tips For The Elderly: Regular Exercise
Most senior citizens forget the importance of exercise as they grow and age. Exercise is just as important for everyone, regardless of how old you may be. Engaging in at least 150 minutes of physical excursionis a good technique for injury prevention for senior adults. As a result of regular exercise senior citizens may also remain fit and will be able to combat the problems their immune system might go through as they age.
Maintaining strong bones is an important requirement for elderly falls prevention. When bones are weak, senior citizens will regularly fall and will suffer from a number of injuries as a result of it. Poor bone health can cause of lack of proper balance and can also lead to significant damage to the bones in the case of a simple fall.
Non slip shows are an integral part of fall prevention in the elderly checklist. Non-slip shoes happen to be slip resistant and may not slip at the first sign of water or a tiled floor. Their exterior surface is sturdy in nature and will help maintain balance where senior citizens cannot. These shoes act as an added support for people who have trouble maintaining balance and avoiding falls.
Besides these tips you should also;
Arrange furniture in a way that helps clear pathways.
Use non-slip mats
De-clutter your home
Keep frequently used items within their reach
Have slip-resistant tiles in the bathroom
And, keep your well home well lit
These prevention tips will go a long way in keeping your senior citizens healthy and safe from falls.