Don’t fall for it
Keeping your residents safe can be a round the clock task. One particular area of concern is preventing injuries that occur from falls. In fact, falls represent the most frequent and serious injury and loss of mobility among over 65’s, while older people in care homes are three times more likely to experience a fall than older people not in care homes.
However, while the odd trip or spill may seem inevitable, that doesn’t mean you can’t minimise their occurrence. Here we take a look at the most common causes of falls and how you can prevent them from occurring so regularly:
The average human being is made up of around 60% water. H2O is particularly vital for our bodies to enable our brains to regulate our temperatures and maintain cognitive functions. Therefore, it is unsurprising that a lack of fluids can cause residents to feel light-headed, wobbly on their feet, and make them more likely to lose their balance. Therefore it is important to keep residents sufficiently hydrated. Providing an easily accessible source of fluids – whether that be a water fountain, drinks machine, or simply having somebody regularly offer around drinks – can help keep your residents fighting fit and on their feet.
Sharing is caring
It can be especially difficult for older residents to communicate when something is wrong. This may be due to a physical impairment, mental issues, or simply due to pride. However, cultivating a sharing culture among your residents and making sure that people feel safe and respected when they come to you with an issue is important. You should encourage residents to let somebody know if they are feeling unusually weak, unsteady, or generally unwell. This will allow you to tackle issues that may cause falls before they arise. Don’t forget - honouring their privacy and confidentiality is imperative also.
Get a grip
Many elderly residents can find the mere act of getting around difficult. You can help provide them with a sense of mobility and assist with their adventures by ensuring your home is as accessible as possible. Installing hand rails, holds and guards, as well as providing appropriate aids such as walkers, can help residents to stay upright and maintain their freedom.
Keep it tidy
It may sound obvious, but you’d be amazed how many care homes leave items lying around that could become tripping hazards for residents. These may be items that are left on the floor by residents themselves, which can be difficult to keep on top of, but there are ways to combat this. Conduct regular sweeps of the main areas where people are moving about, encourage residents to tidy up after themselves where possible, and make everyone aware of the dangers of an untidy home (for example, this could be done verbally in a talk, or as a series of posters placed throughout the home).
Should the worst happen and a fall does occur, don’t rest on your laurels. Any time after an incident you should write a post-fall report using a RIDDOR form (Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations). This will help you to identify why the fall occurred, whether it is likely to happen again, and what action can be taken to prevent any future incidents of an identical or similar manner. Make sure that all staff know the appropriate risk prevention strategies and what to do should a fall transpire.BACK TO ARTICLES