How to Prevent Falls

Anyone can suffer a fall in the right (or wrong, in this case) circumstances. A fall from height is less common, but falls downstairs and falls on flat surfaces can all happen if the situation allows it to happen.

While many people suffer from a fall each year, not everyone is injured. Indeed, many people are nothing more than embarrassed by their mishap. However, elderly people are more prone to falling than most of us – and they are more likely to injure themselves too. We’ve all heard of broken hips and other injuries occurring in these situations, and while these can be treated, it is better to avoid them happening in the first place if we can.

While it is usual to feel safe in your home, it is also possible to experience a fall there. Trip and slip hazards may be lurking in more places than you realise. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents confirms 2.7 million people are injured in the home every year – and that’s just the ones who arrive at casualty for treatment. Not all are hurt in falls, but some are.

Image courtesy of Michael & Christa Richert

There are plenty of ways you can prevent a fall from occurring, such as making sure your rooms are decluttered regularly, and there are no trip hazards on the floor. Watch for wires and leads that might be trailing unseen and that could trip you up. Additionally, make sure you put non-slip backing under any rugs or mats, so you don’t slip and lose your balance when you walk on them.

If you have any elderly neighbours or relatives, make sure you look for trip and fall hazards in their homes too if you can. Ask if they need any help getting things done. They may be aware of certain issues but they may not like to ask for help.

Thrift Urban Housing runs a Stay Put service that focuses on providing the best support for those who wish to remain in their homes for as long as they can. If you know an elderly person in the London boroughs who might benefit, pass on our details now.

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