Falls are Serious Problems for Elderly Australians

nurse taking care of senior citizen

Falls are one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in Australia — especially among the elderly. Each year, a third of them will suffer a fall that would require hospitalization. Although falls can sometimes be unavoidable, there are measures to minimise their occurrence. Many homeowners consider bathroom renovations as the best solution, but that is only the beginning.

Covering the Basics

One of the most important factors in preventing falls is a good vision. Vision-loss is quite prevalent among the elderly — but most of these cases are quite treatable. Have your eyes checked and get the proper eyeglasses or laser treatment. The cost of hospitalization from falling can get quite high, especially if you break your hip, so spending money on this front is an ideal way to prevent this situation.

Good vision can’t help you if the lights are out, so make sure to keep light switches accessible or install smart lights that react to voice or movement. Get rid of objects on the floor that can cause the elderly to slip — that includes small trinkets or items that might be lying on the floor like Lego pieces or children’s toys.

Toilets and Bathrooms

modern bathroomFalls can happen anywhere in the house — but toilets and bathrooms tend to be one of the main culprits. Sitting down and standing up can be extremely difficult once you get older and the stress on the knees can make changing position and elevation dangerous. Baths get a bit unsafe whether you’re using a shower or a tub. Soap and water make the floor extremely slippery and getting in and out of a tub are close to impossible. Toilet and bathroom remodel are unavoidable if you want to make your house safer.

Support rails from the door to the toilet can make your trips easier and handholds near the toilet can reduce the strain on your knees and help you maintain balance. Avoid taking a bath in a shower or tub unassisted as it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Walk-in tubs can help you hold on to your independence — allowing you to keep the more private moments of your day to yourself.

In Case of Emergency

Dizziness and vertigo are common among the elderly, which can contribute to their chances of accidentally falling down. While these falls are almost unavoidable, you can at least ensure your safety with a medical alert system or personal alarm.

These devices can alert emergency services or family with a push of a button or when it detects signs of a fall. These devices are usually worn (usually like a pendant), so they’ll always be monitoring your condition. You can trigger the alert with a push of a button once you feel that something is not right with your body but it would also trigger once it detects swift motion followed by a sudden stop. The majority of elderly that suffer from falls have difficulty getting up or calling for help — so having an automated system that does it for you will keep you safer.

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