Housing plays a very important part in a person’s welfare and the maintenance of good health. It is therefore very important that a person's house is dry and warm with all trip hazards eliminated to prevent falls and property safety equipment such as grab rails and non-slip floors installed.
Many falls can be prevented by taking the following measures:
- Keep your home well lit
- Remove items that could trip you up like cables or rugs
- Keep the items you need within easy reach and avoid over-reaching as this could cause you to lose your balance
- Take your time when answering the phone or the door
- Use any equipment that you have been supplied with to help you with your daily life – for instance, if you have a personal alarm, wear it.
- Have a plan of action if you get into trouble – keep important numbers to hand by the phone or program them into the phone.
Following an assessment of your needs by your social services, you may be contacted by the Telecare service to provide advice on alarms and sensors to help keep you safe.
If you do have a fall
- Don’t panic
- Give yourself time to get yourself together
- Then decide whether you are able to get up
If you are in pain and CANNOT get up
- Use your alarm if you have it or the phone if you can reach it
- Bang on the wall and shout
- If you are near a window, wave something to try to attract someone’s attention
If you can, try to move to a soft surface and try to keep warm by using anything nearby as a blanket. If possible, try not to lie in one position for too long and moving your arms and leg muscles as much as you can, will help to keep your circulation going and help to keep you warm.
If you need to pass water, try to do it on some newspaper or other material to soak it up so that you don’t lie in a wet area.
If you are not hurt and CAN get up
- Roll over onto your side and kneel or sit.
- Shuffle or crawl to the nearest seat (or other furniture)
- Place your hands on the seat, kneel and place one foot flat on the floor
- Lean forward and push up, turn and sit down.
- Sit and rest
It is important that you let your GP know that you have had a fall as there may be a medical reason for the fall which may need treatment.