In part 3 we are discussing what to do if you fall and how we can reduce your risk of falling.
Falling is the result of many changes that may occur as we age. As there are many causes there is also a lot we can do to reduce their occurrence.
If you have not already done so, please look at our first two news items on internal and external factors that contribute to falling.
Research recommends a three-pronged attack to reducing falls risk.
- Falls and Balance Exercises
- Falls Education, and
- A Home Safety Assessment
As we have seen, in our previous news items, the following are also useful
- Review by a Geriatrician
- Review by an Occupational Therapist
- Review by a Physiotherapist
- Home medication review by a Pharmacist
- Review by an Optician or Ophthalmologist
- Review by a Continence Advisor
- Review by a Podiatrist
What should you do if you fall?
Don’t Panic, take your time. It is best if you don’t rush.
Check if anything is hurting or injured:
- Move your legs and arms gently and ensure you have your full movement
- Check for any grazes or bruising
- If you have any concerns call for help
- If you have any pain or injury, it is best that an ambulance is called
If you feel ok, roll over onto your stomach.
Push back up on your knees or bring your knees up under you.
Then push up onto your hands.
Move to a chair if there is one nearby. If you have someone to assist you, they could bring a chair to you.
Come up to kneel and hold onto the chair.
Bring one foot up then push up onto your feet
Turn around and sit on the chair. Wait for several minutes before you get up and walk off.
It is better to stand by yourself than someone help you up, if they cannot assess your injuries.
If you cannot stand by yourself, call for assistance.
If you live alone consider a personal alert. Also, have a regular routine with friends, neighbours, or relatives who will notice if you do not answer the phone or door, or do not raise or lower your blinds or curtain.
Fear of falling
Fear of falling can be a debilitating condition. It is not just being frightened of falling, it is when you fear of falling is not the same as your risk of falling. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is important that you discuss this with your GP and/or physiotherapist.