What should I do if I Fall?
Falls are common amongst all ages, but older people are more vulnerable to falls, 1 in 5 resulting in injury. Long-term health conditions can be a catalyst for falls, however not all falls are connected to an illness. Falls can be connected to medical issues such as low blood pressure or medication side effects and environmental factors such as a wet floor or poorly lit areas.
According to the NHS, around 1 in 3 adults over 65 and half of people over 80 will have at least one fall a year.
While thankfully most falls don’t result in serious injury, but can leave the person feeling more withdrawn, weary, less confident and as if they’ve lost their independence.
What to do if you’ve had a fall while alone
If you’ve had a fall and are not in any pain, do not rush to get up as this may result in further injury. Instead:
- Roll onto your hands and knees and look for a steady piece of furniture near-by to help balance and support you.
- Slowly pull yourself up, using the support.
- Once you feel stable, sit down for a while to allow yourself some time to rest before carrying on with your daily activities.
- Let someone know you’ve had a fall as soon as possible.
If you feel any pain while on the ground, do not try to get up as this could make the injury worse. If possible:
- If you have contactless fall detection, your provider will know you have fallen and will be able to speak to you and send help right away.
- If you have a panic alarm, press the button for help.
- If you do not have a panic alarm, always have your phone near-by. Attaching your phone to a lanyard which can be places around your neck or wrist is a great way to ensure it is always with you.
- If your phone is not near-by, try crawl to a phone and ring 999 for an ambulance.
- If you are unable to crawl, try make as much noise as possible by calling for help, banging on nearby furniture or pressing your personal alarm if you have one.
- If possible, reach for something warm such as a blanket or jacket to place over you.
- Change your position once every hour to ensure pressure is not places on one area for long periods of time.
Preventing a Fall
There are several things which can be done to prevent a fall from happening such as:
- Simple flood detectors can alert you if the sink or bath has overflown.
- Using non-slip mats in places where water may be, for example the bathroom and kitchen area can help.
- Mopping up spills immediately to prevent wet and slippery floors.
- Ensure good lighting in all rooms, hallways and stairs.
- Removing clutter as this can be hazardous for trips and falls, particularly in the bedroom to bathroom area.
- Getting help lifting or moving items which may be heavy or difficult to lift.
It is a good idea to visit your GP regularly to find out any supports which may be available to you at that time. Your GP may carry out some simple tests to check your balance. They may also review any medication you’re taking to ensure no side effects could increase the risk of having a fall.
The GP may also recommend:
- An eye test if your vision is impaired.
- Having an ECG and checking your blood pressure while sitting and standing.
- Request a home hazard assessment, where healthcare professionals visit your home to identify potential hazards and give advice.
- Doing exercises to improve your strength and balance.
HaloCare is a solution for older people who wish to stay in their own home but need a little extra support. By using technology that works seamlessly in the background, customers can continue to live independently with the knowledge that HaloCare is there to support them.
HaloCare specialise in contactless fall detection motion sensors which means even if a person is unable to call out for help or press a panic button, the 24/7 Care Specialists will be alerted to the fall. HaloCare’s two-way audio and voice activated alarms ensure the customer will always be able to reach out for help, even in a weakened state.
If you or your loved one needs a little extra support while living independently, HaloCare is there 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.