As people age, their bones become brittle and may break easily. A fall can be a life-changing experience for an elderly adult as it can reduce his/her mobility. Not just that, a single fall can begin a chain reaction of more falls.
If you are a caregiver at a care home, here are some ways you can reduce fall risk:
Keep the residents active: One of the best ways to prevent falls is to ensure that the residents at your care homes are getting adequate physical activity. Regular walk, stretching exercises like tai chi and yoga can improve the balance and gait of the seniors. A physically active life improves muscle strength and flexibility and lowers the risk of falling.
Ensure that the bathroom is senior friendly: Most slip and fall accidents occur in the bathroom. To prevent accidents, provide anti-skid mats in the bathtubs and shower stalls. Install grab bars strategically; they can be installed near the toilet seat, shower stall and washbasin. You can also provide a shower seat as bathing in a seated position can prevent falls in the shower.
Modify the stairs for the residents: Make sure that the stairway is well lit so that each step is easy to spot. You can also paint each step in different colours so that the ageing eyes can separate one step from the next. Also, ensure that the stairway has railings on both sides. Keep the path clear – as carpet runners or flower pots near the stairs increase the risk of tripping.
Remove the excess items from their rooms: To create a safe living space for the seniors, remove all the unnecessary items from the room. Unnecessary items can quickly pile up, leaving the space cluttered – and thus increasing the risk of tripping. Put all the necessary items within reach, should they need something at night.
Check their shoes: As a caregiver, ensure that the residents wear shoes that fit them well and have non-slip soles. Shoes without laces are easier to wear and remove. Also, shoes with long laces can pose the risk of tripping. Loose shoes and backless slippers should be avoided. Make sure that the shoes provide comfort as well as stable support.
Leverage the power of technology to spend more time providing person-centred care
As a caregiver, you want to spend more time providing person-centred care. However, tasks like manually reviewing MAR sheets and updating medical records can take up your time. Many care homes in the UK are shifting to electronic MAR sheets (eMAR) to help their staff spend time on meaningful activities. If your care home is still using paper-based MAR sheets, here are some benefits of eMAR your care home managers need to know.