Prevent a fall
Some quick tips to keep you safe.
When seniors fall, some possible consequences include sustaining physical injuries such as muscle strain, sprain, joint dislocation or worse, bone fracture. There can also be psychological consequences where some seniors may develop a fear of falling again, which may make them reluctant to attempt walking too much.
Here are some tips on preventing falls from Lucille Basilio Satorre, senior physiotherapist from Outram Community Hospital and Tricia Ng, senior occupational therapist from Sengkang Community Hospital:
- Keep your home clutter-free and store electric cords neatly so that they are not trip-hazards.
- Close the windows quickly when it is raining so that the floor will not get wet. If the rain gets in, wipe the floor immediately to reduce fall hazards.
- Wear footwear that is of the correct size. It is recommended to choose footwear that covers the toes for protection and avoid elevated heels.
- Check your footwear regularly and ensure that the sole is not worn off.
- Avoid using your mobile phone while walking, especially when it is raining, so as to stay alert and prevent slipping.
- Avoid crowded areas or tight corners such as certain lanes in the supermarket during peak hours. Seniors can have slower reaction time and may risk losing their balance when they need to move abruptly or navigate crowded spaces.
- Opt for brightly lit pathways as poor lighting and vision can cause fall hazards. Seniors and others as well may trip when they fail to notice steps, kerbs or uneven ground.
- If you are outdoors when it rains, consider waiting at a shelter for the rain to stop before continuing on your journey.
- Avoid taking shortcuts and walking on slippery surfaces such as drain covers, and wet or muddy grass patches. Walk under sheltered walkways and use the handrails when needed.
- Check your walking aids and wheelchairs regularly. For walking aids, users can check the handle, look out for damage such as broken parts, and check if the shaft is rusty or whether the ferrule (rubber tip) is worn off. For wheelchairs, users can check the tire pressure of the wheels and the casters to make sure that the wheel locks are not loose. Also, look out for any loose spokes, loose nuts and bolts, or general wear and tear.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash/Marcelo Cidrack)