Apr 21, 2017

Reducing Falls Risk in the Elderly

In a study conducted by The Royal Melbourne Hospital in 2014, research showed that that falls were the second biggest cause for elderly hospital admissions behind chest pain.

There are countless reasons why someone might feel the need to start looking into in home care. The enquiries we receive at Prestige Inhome Care are constant and varied.

However, one event we consistently see as the catalyst for these enquiries is falls. We typically get 20 to 30 enquiries each month from concerned sons and daughters who have witnessed the affect of their parents falling. The causes are many and varied but commonly include slippery surfaces (baths, tiles and steps) through to inappropriate floor coverings and furniture.

In a study conducted by The Royal Mebourne Hospital in 2014, research showed that that falls were the second biggest cause for elderly hospital admissions behind chest pain. The study also found that the majority of these falls were occurring at home.

Falls are particularly concerning in the elderly because not only does it impact their bodes in an exacerbated way, but it also takes their bodies longer to heal than it would in younger patients. It can also impact their confidence or cause serious injury, which can sometimes lead to surgery.

In more serious cases, the snowball effect of a fall for an elderly person can commonly be the catalyst that leads to placement in a residential facility and even premature death. While these facts are worrying, the positive news is many of these falls could be prevented with a few simple household changes. Rubber bath mats, hand rails in showers, floor mats, adequate lighting, tidy homes and chairs fitted to the correct height can drastically help.

Also close monitoring of people on certain medications and with illnesses like diabetes and dementia can drastically reduce their incidence of falls. Regular light exercise as part of a daily routine is also really important in avoiding sudden falls, as is ensuring that elderly people are ‘checked on’ regularly.

Lastly, if you are having concerns about an ageing loved on living at home, it is certainly worth investing in an expert to review the home environment and make recommendations about changes that will reduce their risk of falls.

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  1. I’m afraid I lost my mother through a fall that occurred in nursing home , the blame can be put down to staff shortage ….. She was in a nursing home for 3 years , between family members we were there every day . Unfortunately for home , you get to observe all comings and goings . Cutting back of qualified staff is major problem , it’s all about cutting costs . My mother died a very painful death because of a broken hip , don’t wish it on anyone .


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