Falling over can be a painful experience for even the most able-bodied person. But for the elderly, they can be downright frightening and quite dangerous.
For those over the age of 65, falls are a major source of injury. A resulting fracture or break from a fall can mean months of rehabilitation and reduced quality of life. Ironically, falling over can even make a person more likely to fall again if they become more sedentary due to fear of falling.
Fall prevention devices can help elderly citizens lessen the risk of falling by supporting better gait and balance. They can also act as a safety net in situations where they might be more likely to fall (such as falling out of bed).
Let’s take a look at some of the essential elderly fall prevention devices we recommend here at Keystone Healthcare.
Grab bars are one of the most commonly used fall prevention devices. They offer support and stability when navigating tricky areas such as stairs, the bathtub or shower, or when getting up from the toilet.
They are typically fixed to walls via screws, or alternatively suction grab bars can offer portability while still being very strong and stable.
An unsteady gait and lack of balance are big contributors to falls in the elderly, but staying active is also a crucial part of preventing falls.
Canes and walkers are other commonly used fall prevention aids that offer that extra bit of stability for people who are unsteady on their feet. If a person only needs a bit of help, a cane might be enough to give the support and confidence that’s needed.
Alternatively, walkers are a better option for those who are a higher fall risk. Non-wheeled walkers have 4 legs that give extra stability. While wheeled options offer smooth and steady movement - as long as the hand brakes are used! Wheeled walkers also offer the added convenience of a storage basket underneath, and a seat for resting.
Bedside fall mats
As we get older, we sometimes need to get up and go to the toilet during the night. But for many seniors, the disorientation from coming out of a sleeping state, combined with the lack of light during the night, can make those night-time toilet visits very dangerous missions.
For those people, a bedside crash mat might be a good safety option. They provide an extra bit of protection by cushioning the floor next to the bed just in case. Fall mats come in many sizes and are foldable for easy moving and storage. They also have a non-skid bottom to stop it from slipping around.
Motion alarm products are mostly used as a chair or bed monitor for tracking the movements of fall-prone elderly people. There are different types of sensors that can be used to detect patient movement (pressure, capacitance, infrared or piezoelectric). Motion detection can be classified as “Early” or “Late” detection and Keystone Healthcare recommends using alarm systems specifically for “Early” detection; so caregivers can help prevent a fall from occurring.
As with any falls monitoring device, it should only be used as a tool and does not replace adequate supervision.
Keystone Healthcare is available to discuss its recommended products and our experience over 10 years in falls prevention devices and strategies.
Where to get more information
At Keystone Healthcare, we are passionate about falls prevention, and understand that the right equipment plays an integral role in reducing injury, reducing both physical and legal risks, and protecting the wellbeing of patients.
Our range of fall prevention equipment is suitable for hospitals, aged care facilities, and private homes. We also provide training and support on the correct use of our products, so not only do patients benefit from better outcomes, but the equipment lifespan is also prolonged.
To discuss your falls prevention equipment needs, get in touch with a member of the team on 1300 547 877.