Falls, particularly in the elderly, are responsible for most fractured or broken bones, and in many cases, these falls are preventable. An insecure floor mat, not using a cane or walking aid, getting in and out of chairs or beds unsafely, and certain medications are all common contributors to falls. November is National Falls Prevention Month and we're sharing the message that everyone has a role in preventing falls.
Changing the way people move is often a major challenge and for that reason Niagara Health launched a Falls Prevention Program to ensure our patients are properly assessed for risk of falling, either in hospital or when they return home.
The main goals of the program are to focus on prevention, conduct risk assessments and to educate patients and family members about how to prevent falls. Achieving these goals means increasing patients’ safety, mobility and independence. Here are the top 10 tips to prevent falling in hospital:
- Move slowly when first getting up.
- Use walkers, canes, or wheelchairs if you require them.
- Keep your call bell and personal items within reach.
- Wear well-fitting, supportive shoes with rubber soles or non-slip socks.
- Help to keep pathways clear and clutter free.
- If you feel dizzy while standing, sit down and call for help.
- Lock your wheelchair or walker brakes before you begin to stand up or sit down.
- Use the grab bars if available.
- Ask for help to clean up spills or pick up items.
- Wear your hearing aids or glasses if you have them.