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Preventing falls in older people

Falls are a common cause of injuries in older people, however they can be easily prevented.  According to a Better Health survey in 2012, falls are the top reason for injury-related hospital admissions in people aged over 65.   Falls can cause fractures, dislocations, abrasions, strains and result in activity restriction.  There are steps that can be taken to prevent them and some helpful tips to deal with falls, if they do occur.

Tips to avoiding falls at home

  • Keeping fit and healthy: this will improve overall strength, coordination and balance
  • Ensure the inside of your home is free of trip hazards like old rugs or power cords
  • Make sure your footwear has good grip and fits well
  • Clean up spills straight away
  • Keep your house clean and free of clutter
  • Furniture should be sturdy and in good repair, chairs should be easy to get in and out of
  • Keep a personal alarm on you if possible

What to do if you fall and injure yourself

  • Keep calm and don’t panic
  • Call for help from a neighbour or call 000
  • See if you can push yourself up, get up on your knees or use a piece of furniture to pull yourself up
  • If you are unable to get up, try to crawl towards carpet and cover yourself with something warm
  • Use an object to bang on the wall or use a personal alarm to draw attention to yourself

To help prevent falls, Southern Plus offers exclusive in-house physiotherapists. Physiotherapy may help to address your specific illness or injuries which limit your ability to move and perform functional activities in your everyday life.

Objectives of physiotherapy:

  • Improving mobility
  • Preventing falls and improving balance
  • Regaining strength and flexibility
  • Regaining independence
  • Managing muscle and joint pain
  • Managing breathlessness

 

For more information: www.southernplus.org.au

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