Carers guide to slips, trips and falls
One of a professional caregiver’s biggest tasks is to prevent falls. As elderly individuals lose mobility, they are at a greater risk of injuries they might struggle to bounce back from. An act that might result in a minor bruise for a younger individual, could be as dire as a bone fracture, head injury, or sprain on a senior. A fall could be the result of weak muscles, medication, poor vision, or other illnesses. Elderly people are at a bigger risk of falling and face worse consequences if they do. Whether someone is a domiciliary caregiver or works in a nursing home, there are a lot of things they can do in their space to prevent falls.
A common reason an elderly person might fall is tripping over something in their way. Caregivers should ensure that every walkway is clean and tidy. Decluttering an area and making sure things are put away or pushed against the wall is important. Consider also removing rugs in the home as those can be hazardous. Stay aware of environmental hazards as well. Careful of uneven or wet floors – make sure if there’s a spill or if an area was recently mopped it gets dried right away. As always provide proper lighting, poor lighting combined with bad vision could easily result in an accident.
A caregivers best defence to falls is to remain observant. Keep an eye on individuals, especially ones that are less mobile or accident prone. Notice their footwear and ensure that laces are always fastened. Make sure you are available to assist when they are moving to and from somewhere. It’s common for an individual that is at risk of falling not to ask for help and to feel like they are fully capable, whether that be because of memory loss or pridefulness. If you stay present and observant, you will be able to step in without being asked. Notice and assess which individuals are most vulnerable. Introduce light exercises as well, like walking around the block. Any low impact activity to keep them active will ultimately strengthen a senior’s muscles, balance, and confidence.
If an individual does fall, follow protocols that are in place. Make sure they are as comfortable as possible, placing a small pillow under their head will do a lot. Lastly, always call for assistance, as struggling to move someone on your own could result in further accidents and worsen injuries.
At Caredemy we offer affordable, CPD accredited compliant training, written by qualified professionals. This includes the health, safety and welfare course