01 Mar 2016
In my role I work across all of Anchor’s care home services to help the older people who choose to live with us get the most out of life.
I’m passionate about supporting people to maintain their independence and know that difficulties with mobility and the fear of falling can have a significant impact on a person’s confidence, health and wellbeing.
Many people start to feel anxious for the safety of elderly relatives, friends and neighbours living in their own homes when they begin to notice them face issues with their mobility.
But there are a number of simple ways people can reduce their risk of having a fall. Often making small, inexpensive changes to a person’s house and day-to-day life can help keep them safe and give you peace of mind.
Here is my list of safety tips for older people, and advice on fall prevention.
- Keep fit and active: Light stretching keeps your muscles flexible, and gentle exercise is good for your strength and balance. Walking is a great form of exercise, so wrap up warm and take a stroll outside in the fresh air at every opportunity to help strengthen your leg muscles. It is common for leisure and community centres to offer a range of free or low cost exercise and fitness classes, tailored for older people, so why not check out what is available close to you.
- Remove trip hazards: Trip hazards come in many shapes and sizes so go around the house, tidy wires, straighten rugs, de-clutter rooms and eliminate anything that could be a trip hazard.
- Find the right footwear: Make sure that all shoes and slippers fit correctly, and are well looked after. Ill-fitting or damaged footwear are not only uncomfortable, but also increase the risk of falls.
- Suitable lighting: Well-lit rooms, hallways and stairways are essential so be sure to invest in brighter bulbs and banish dark corners and shadows.
- Grab rails: Fitting grab rails in hallways and bathrooms offers support and can boost confidence when moving around from room to room.
- Eat and drink well: Keep well hydrated, and have regular snacks throughout the day for energy. Loss of weight is a real issue for many older people but eating hot food during the winter has many benefits.
Becky Garwood is Anchor’s Care Quality Manager supporting a team of care and dementia advisers providing support and guidance to our care homes to ensure we continue to deliver exceptional care to our customers.