Helpful hints on how to avoid slips, trips and falls

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1 Hepfu hints on how to avoid sips, trips and fas Prevention is better than cure HOUSING AND COMMUNITY LIVING

2 2 Introduction As we get oder and ess steady on our feet, there is an increased risk that we may injure ourseves by faing. Maintaining your heath and we being makes a big difference to your quaity of ife, whatever your age. Luton Borough Counci wants to hep anyone at risk of a fa, or who cares for someone who is at risk, to be aware of the hazards that exist around the home and beyond. Thirty per cent of peope aged 65 or over are ikey to fa at east once a year and this rises to approximatey fifty per cent for those aged 80 and above. Therefore, it is in everyone s interests to make sure the oder peope in our community are kept safe and heathy. The purpose of the eafet is to provide some hepfu advice on how to keep the risks of sipping, tripping or faing over, to an absoute minimum.

3 Managing medicines It is important to take the medication that your GP has prescribed for you; however, some medicines can make you fee unsteady or drowsy. If this happens, et your doctor know as the dosage may need to change. If you take medication reguary, visit your doctor and have it reguary reviewed. Safe footwear Is your footwear suitabe? There is penty to consider when choosing shoes. They shoudn t be too heavy they shoud be ight and supportive. Make sure your feet do not side around in your shoes. You shoud aso have about one centimetre (or haf an inch) in the front of your shoes for movement. Laces shoud be tied firmy. If you find it difficut to tie the aces on your shoes, try to buy footwear fastened with Vecro. When ooking for sippers, they shoud be seam free and have soft uppers as these are more comfortabe. 3

4 Do your shoes grip the foor? Try to buy non-sip soed shoes. You shoud try to avoid smooth soes that don t offer any surface grip. Cheaper synthetic patterned soes are better than smooth eather ones in giving you a better eve of grip to foor surfaces. Try to avoid soft soed shoes as they can affect your baance. And remember that fexibe shoes wi trave better than hard soes on uneven ground. Other usefu footwear advice: Avoid waking barefoot or in sock/tights on sippery foors. Avoid wearing ong cothes that fa on the foor, that coud get tanged with your egs/feet. Repace worn shoes and sippers. Keep the soes of your shoes cean as this wi hep keep the grip they give. 4

5 Waking aids If you use a waking stick, you shoud hod it in the opposite hand to your damaged eg if possibe. If the rubber tips of your waking aid (the ferrues) are worn out, they shoud be repaced. If you use a frame, either wheeed or waking, does it wobbe or stand square? Are the whees uneven? If either of these is the case, you shoud have your frame corrected. If you have any concerns over using your waking aid, you can contact your doctor for advice and information or contact the Counci s Referra Management Team (see contact detais on back page) who can organise a visit by a physiotherapist through the Community Assessment and Rehabiitation Team. 5

6 House and home The majority of fas happen in the home, so it is important to check for potentia hazards. Does furniture need to be rearranged? Try to cear cuttered rooms and wakways, rearrange your kitchen so more frequenty used items are within easy reach, and use kitchen work surfaces to move things from one pace to another. A troey may aso be beneficia if you need to move things from one room to another. Is your furniture too ow? An Occupationa Therapist can hep you raise the height of your chair so that it is easier for you to stand safey ca or

7 The dangers of oose wires and cabes Traiing teephone or eectrica cabes are a potentia risk. You can tidy them with cips or tuck them behind furniture so there is ess risk of faing over them. Safety on the stairs You shoud check for fraying or bady fitted carpets, and make sure your stairs are free from any cutter. A good idea is to have a waking aid at the top and bottom of the stairs, so you do not need to carry one whie cimbing them. Ensure there is good ighting when you move around If you need to get up when it is dark, make sure your path is we it (especiay the stairs) and switch a ight on. Bathroom safety The bathroom is a high risk environment where sips and fas may occur due to wet and sippery surfaces. If you do not have them, consider using non-sip mats in your bath. You shoud aso arrange things you need cose to the bath or shower. Toiet seats can be raised and rais can be fitted; however you must make sure equipment is fitted propery. 7

8 Getting out of bed You shoud take your time and do it in stages. Tense your arm and eg musces a few times before moving to increase circuations and hep avoid dizziness. Finay, sit on the bed for a minute before standing up. In the garden Watch out for uneven paths and sippery surfaces. You coud aso consider handrais or posts to steady you, especiay near to steps. 8

9 If you do have a fa you might initiay be in shock. Try not to panic and don t get up straight away take your time. Ca for hep use your care aarm or pu cord if you have one, or try to get to a teephone. If necessary bang on a wa or foor, or shout. If possibe, and if you are unhurt, keep moving to reieve pressure and stiffness this heps circuation. Do not move if you fee pain. It is important to keep warm. Try to move to a carpeted area if you have faen on a hard foor. Keep heat in by using cothing, a cushion or tabecoth and cover your egs and feet first. If you have aready had a fa Don t worry about asking for hep or peope thinking you are frai and not ooking after yoursef propery. Remember, fas prevention is a about enabing you to ive as independent and enjoyabe ife as possibe. Fas can happen to anyone but you can take positive measures to reduce the risk of it happening to you. 9

10 Assistive Technoogy Throughout your home there may be ways new technoogy can hep you. Luton Teeink Care Service provides a home safety and persona security system that aows peope to ive independenty in their own home. This is achieved through a 24 hour teephone ink to the Teeink Care Centre. The range of Teecare sensors avaiabe incudes: Persona trigger aarm (pendant) Bogus caer button Smoke detector Fa detector Food detector PIR (movement detector) Bed/chair occupancy sensor. 10

11 And finay Sma adjustments to everyday ife do not mean you have to imit your activities; it coud give you greater freedom and confidence! Usefu contact numbers Sips, Trips and Fas Awareness Training Luton Teeink Centre Age Concern Luton (Fas Prevention Scheme) Disabiity Resource Centre Sight Concern Nationa Osteoporosis Society Community Assessment and Rehabiitation Team

12 If you need this in arge print, on tape or in Poski % Minicom For advice on adut socia care pease contact Luton Borough Counci s Referra Management Team on or write to them at this address: Referra Management Team (Aduts), Town Ha, Luton LU1 2BQ A wide range of information eafets is avaiabe from the Customer Service Centre at Luton Town Ha or visit 226Jun10 Designed by Luton Borough Counci. Printed June JOB003864

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