According to research (J.Elizabeth Walker and Jonathon Howland- American Journal of Occupational Therapy), fear of falling has become the number one reason why our seniors tend to mobilize less. This has a direct implication on occupational performance. A fall can be a life-changing event and therefore client and family training is essential to try to prevent falls and try to reduce a fall’s risk.
Occupational therapists work with the client and caregivers to review the home environment for hazards and evaluate the individual for limitations that contribute to falls. Recommendations often include a combination of interventions that target improving physical abilities to safely perform daily tasks, modifying the home, and changing activity patterns and behaviors.
Objects we can look out for to assist our loved ones to prevent falls within the home can include;
- Ensuring a well-lit path from bedroom to bathroom
- If having difficulty with standing, making use of a shower seat
- Have non-slip mats within the bathroom
- Removing soap buildup from the shower floor
- Making use of a raised toilet seat if having difficulty getting up or sitting down
- Having a table close to your bed with a lamp
- Making sure cords are pushed away and unnecessary clutter is out of the way
- Ensuring you have a bed that is easy to get in and out of
- Are the carpets secure /non-slip?
- Can you get to regularly used items without bending or reaching too far?
- Do cabinet doors and drawers close all the way?
- Do the stairs have grab rails?
- Have you removed all loose carpets from your home?
- Making sure your mobility aid is at hand at all times