Preventing falls at home is one of the biggest concerns that family caregivers face as the people they’re caring for begin to have balance and/or mobility issues.
It’s important to remove, eliminate, and minimize the hazards and risks around your home.
If you are a family caregiver and you are concerned about how to prevent falls in the elderly at home, don’t wait until they are at risk for falling before you address this situation.
Thinking about fall prevention now is paramount and one of the best ways to prevent falls at home. It could be a potentially life-saving step down the line.
What is S.T.O.P method?
S.T.O.P. stands for Scan, Talk, Organize, and Plan, and is a simple, four-step solution to preventing falls in the elderly in and around your home.
Step 1 – Scan home for safety risks
Creating a safe environment for the elderly at home is the first step that you should take in order to improve and secure a comfortable and safe living space. Falls can result in lifelong mobility challenges and health complications for some individuals, which is why it is important to be ready for any scenario.
- Look around your home, inside and out, to identify safety risks
- Do you need to install proper fitting safety grab bars and other supporting bars to adjust next to toilets, tubs, or showers
- Do you need to install handrails along hallways and stairways or anywhere else they need the extra support
- Visibility is important so check to see that there is ample lighting to make it safe for someone to walk in and around your home
Step 2 – Talk and share your concerns with health professionals
Be sure to talk and share your scan findings (and fears of the person in your care falling) with their doctor or health care professional. This is important to share because you, as the caregiver, can share knowledge that the health professionals may not have, and help look out for the one you are caring for to eliminate any fears and prepare for the future.
Step 3 – Organize your home to minimize risks
It’s important to remove, eliminate, and minimize the hazards and risks around your home. Make sure to clean up all loose cords, mats, and other furniture that may be a tripping or a falling hazard for someone with balance issues or a mobility device.
Step 4 – Plan, then put your safety plan into action
Having a plan of action is great but you must put your safety plan into action.
Reading this article is the first item to check off on your preventing falls checklist. Make sure that your action plan also includes always having access to help from health care professionals who can assist you in organizing help for your loved one.
Vision impairment may result in falls so have your loved one’s eyesight checked regularly.
Don’t forget to include energetic activities to improve bone health and balance. These types of activities will help the person you’re caring for get into shape, and minimize the risk of them falling by maintaining and strengthening their body.
For more information on how to prevent falls in the elderly and prepare your home, take a look at this Falls Prevention Video.
You might also like our Elizz article on 4 Ways to Prevent Falls at Home.
As “the” place for all things caregiving in Canada, Elizz is powered by Saint Elizabeth Health Care and provides family caregivers with a wide range of care support services along with support for those in your care.
If you still have any questions about fall prevention at home and wish to speak with someone, please contact a Caregiver Coach or call Elizz at 1-855-Ask-Eliz (275-3549).