How safe is your home?
Every day more than 1500 people aged 60 or over have a fall and need to attend hospital.
One in every eight people who attend hospital because of an accident at home is over 65.
Many accidents can be prevented by taking simple steps to make your home safer.
Here are some simple tips on how to minimise the risks in your home.
General home checks
Have at least one smoke detector fitted and working – and check the battery condition regularly.
Keep all your medicines in a lockable container or cupboard.
Have your gas appliances serviced at regular intervals.
Make sure that all your floor surfaces are non-slip‚ securely fixed and in good general repair.
Arrange your furniture so that you can move around easily.
Make sure there are no trailing flexes from electrical appliances.
Clear away any clutter from your hallway and stairs and ensure that your stairs are well lit.
Put in long life light bulbs – they don’t have to be changed so often.
Stairs and steps are one of the most common places for a fall – take extra care and use the hand rail.
Fit safety rails in the toilet and bathroom.
If you do have a fall or accident…
Don’t panic – try to stay calm. If you are alone attract attention by banging on the floor or a wall.
Use your personal alarm if you have one‚ or call 999 if you are hurt or cannot get up from the floor.
If you can‚ try to get up off the floor. Use a piece of sturdy furniture to try and pull yourself up.
Keep warm‚ pull a coat or blanket over you if possible‚ keep your arms and legs moving by tensing your muscles.
If you do fall‚ consider informing your doctor‚ even if you are not hurt – there may be a medical reason for your fall‚ or your doctor may be able to give you advice on how to prevent further falls.
Some medicines can make you feel dizzy and increase your risk of an accident. If you take more than four medicines ask your doctor or pharmacist to review them.