Fall prevention at home - identify avoidable stumbling blocks in your home
Your home is a place where you want to feel safe and secure. Nevertheless: The danger of falling or slipping is not to be sneezed at. But with just a few simple steps you can do a lot to eliminate tripping hazards. We would like to show you which things you should pay attention to in order to avoid falls in your home.
Risk factors for falls
Did you know that 3.8 million German citizens suffer a household accident every year? According to the German Medical Association of North Rhine-Westphalia, about 30% of the over 65-year-olds fall in their own homes once a year. Among the over-80s it is even every second person per year. Unfortunately, falling accidents are the fifth most common cause of death in old age.
Firstly, increasing visual impairment is responsible for many falls. They fail to see small obstacles, such as doorsills, in time and then stumble.
In addition, increasing muscle weakness is also responsible for many falls. As a result, many people are no longer able to lift their feet far enough as they get older. As a result, obstacles that were previously overcome without problems can no longer be crossed. This can cause you to get stuck on the edge of a carpet and stumble.
The sense of balance also weakens with age. As a result, a stumble can quickly turn into a fall, as you can no longer catch yourself so quickly.
Therefore, we would like to show you some measures how you can make your home safer with simple means.
Fall prophylaxis by training the leg muscles
Prevent falls at home by doing a few small and light exercises at home every day. Please only do exercises if you feel confident and do not overdo them. It is also important that you feel good when you do such exercises and you are not dizzy. Ask your doctor, physiotherapist or occupational therapist whether these exercises are suitable for you.
Examples of fall prevention exercises
- To strengthen the leg muscles, stand upright, if necessary against your parked rollator. Now alternately lift your heels while the ball of your foot remains on the ground. When you are standing securely, you can swing your arms sideways.
- Stand with a stable stance, hip-wide and with your upper body straightened. Bring your arms back and bend your knees and hips while simultaneously raising your arms.
- Sit on a chair and bend your knee joints at right angles while straightening your upper body. Now alternately lift your legs and at the same time tap your hand on the raised thigh
Measures to prevent falls - Fall prevention in the home
Please read the following measures once. Walk critically through your home and check the paths for the following stability, tripping and slipping hazards.
- Separate yourself from the bathtub mat in the bathroom.
- Anti-slip mats for bathrooms in the shower, bathtub and on the bathroom floor can also be a tripping hazard.
- Have grab handles fitted to the toilet, shower and bath. Do not hold on to toilet paper holders or mirror shelves - they are not designed for this.
- A shower stool also reduces the risk of slipping in the shower and bathroom, as you do not have to shower standing up
- If you have to climb stairs in your household, make sure you have handrails on both sides of the stairs and use them when climbing stairs. Mark the edges with signal tape for better visibility of the steps.
- Never take medication in combination with alcohol, as the effects can be significantly increased.
- Clear away or glue down any cables that are lying around. The purchase of a cordless phone is also helpful.
- Carpets that lie loose on the tiles or parquet should be completely removed. If you cannot completely remove the carpet, fix the edges of the carpet to the floor with double-sided adhesive tape.
- Door thresholds should be provided with small ramps so that the foot does not get caught on the edge. If it is not possible to fit ramps, give the doorsills more visibility by painting them with a bright colour. Or stick an adhesive tape with a signal colour, e.g. red, to the edge of the threshold to make it more visible.
- With smooth floors, such as tiles or parquet, make sure you have sturdy shoes at home. House slippers sit loosely on your feet and can quickly cause you to stumble. Therefore, it is also important at home to put on completely closed slippers with a non-slip sole.
- Do not hold on to unsecured furniture such as chairs, tables or shelves, as they can easily fall over and cause you to fall. Also use a walking stick or a living room rollator in the apartment.
- Good lighting in the rooms is very important and helps you to see possible dangers better and to react in time. Perhaps you are thinking about a motion detector in the hallway, so a light switches on automatically when you go to the toilet at night. This will safely illuminate the path without you having to look for a light switch in the dark.
- Please remember to always wear your glasses at home as well, so that you have a clear view in every situation. Always have your glasses handy.
Further measures for fall prophylaxis using aids
In the bathroom, a shower stool will help you take a shower or wash at the sink, so you don't have to get up on slippery, wet tiles. You may even be able to do without an expensive conversion of your bathroom with a shower stool.
In an emergency, a home emergency call gives you even more security within your own four walls. Here you can choose between a button that can be worn on your wrist or neck and an invisible wristwatch. The wristwatch automatically detects falls and informs your relatives or a deposited nursing service if you can no longer switch off the alarm on your own.
For even more safety at home, think about using assistive devices. A rollator prevents falls at home. No matter whether you are preparing food in the kitchen, going to the toilet or doing the household chores. You can equip our living room rollator Page with many useful accessories to do your household as far as possible independently. For example, a tray on the rollator allows you to transport food and drinks safely to the table without having to worry about falling, as you can safely lean on the rollator during transport.
Conclusion on fall prophylaxis at home
Please take a critical look at your home and your new needs and try to accept these needs. The risk of falls can be reduced significantly by making even small changes in your home. Take the time to inspect your home. Try to implement as many measures as possible and also consider support with aids.
Think about your safety and health.