Patient falls are the most reported safety concerns among the elderly population in British Columbia; accounting for 4 in 10 adverse events. Each home care provider is responsible for identifying, managing, and eliminating potential hazards for their clients. Older adults may be at increased risk for falls due to impaired mental status, decreased strength, impaired balance and mobility, and decreased sensory perception. It is therefore good to take to very important to take the extra precautionary steps that are listed in this article.
The following list has been compiled by our most senior home care employees in Vancouver and surrounding areas to help other home caregivers avoid the consequences of client falls:
Ace Personnel | Home Care in Vancouver | Fall Prevention Strategies
1. Assess their Medication Intake
If your elderly care recipient is having a difficult time keeping track of medicines or is experiencing side effects, persuade them to discuss their concerns with their family physician and/or pharmacist. Perhaps have them review all medications each time there is a change or a new prescription given.
2. Install Grab Bars in the Bathroom
Install grab bars in the tub/shower and near the toilet. Make sure to install them where your care recipient will actually use them. For enhanced safety, consider purchasing a shower chair and hand-held shower.
3. Wear Sensible Clothing and Shoes
Have your care recipient wear clothes that are of proper fit. It is very common to trip on coats, pairs of trousers or bathrobes that are too long. As well, it is important to measure the feet each time a new pair of shoes is bought since the size can change and ill-fitting shoes can be a haphazard. Opt for shoes and slippers that support the feet well and have non-skid soles.
4. Handling of Pets
If the care recipient has pets, keep them in one place at night. They could pose a tripping hazard to care recipients with mobility issues. Ask the family to train pets not to jump or get underfoot. If the problem still persists, consider buying a collar with a bell for the pet, so the care recipient is alerted when the pet is near them.
5. Non Skid Floor Wax
Non-carpeted floors may need non-slip wax or mats to avoid slippery spots. Be very cautious when cleaning the floors. Avoid walking on them when wet, even when other precautionary steps are taken.
How to Assess the Risk Factors
An assessment of risk factors for falls is a standardized process. Consult a physician or a physiotherapist to help create an assessment tool that best matches the environment the client lives in and their specific health condition. Once created, the tool can help you evaluate several different dimensions of risk, including fall history, mobility, medications, mental status, and continence.
However, it is important to understand that any assessment tool, no matter how comprehensive it is, is only one small piece of the process. They are meant to complement clinical/caregiver judgment, not to replace it. So if you think something is hazardous and it has not been identified, remove it anyways.
Ace Personnel | Professional Caregivers for Seniors and Home Care
If you need assistance with caregiver services for the elderly members of your family in the Vancouver, South Surrey, Surrey, Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, White Rock areas, give our agency a call. We have trained and professional staff that will work around your schedule to ensure the most optimal care plan for your loved one. Click here to contact our agency today.