Falls and Ageing

Falls frequency is directly linked with ageing. According to the Eurosafe association around 30% of European citizens with more than 65 years old fall each year, and this percentage grows when it comes to people over 80 years old. The adoption of simple measures, especially in your home, can minimize the occurrence of these events, which have not only physical consequences but may also drive to social isolation.

5 tips to prevent falls

Adapt your home

  • Keep your home very well illuminated.
  • Keep the electric and phone wires fixed to the wall.
  • Fix your carpets and rugs to the ground.
  • Install non-slip floor in your stairs, bathroom and kitchen.
  • Install support bars in your tub or shower. In fact, there are other simple aids or home adaptations that could be helpful to avoid falls, such as grab rails, walking frames, stair lifts, hoists, riser recliner chairs and beds among others.
  • Avoid having the product you use in very high or very low shelves.
  • Resource to AAL technologies designed to fall detection and prevention: there are a lot of devices focusing of fall detection - sensors, pendants, phones, and technology that can detect subtle changes in a person’s gait or balance – designed for improving health outcomes after a fall episode through rapid assistance. But in recent years, we can find an increasing range of technology that actually prevents falls by assessing falls risk factors (e.g. balance, gait) and by supporting the delivery of targeted physical activities, exercises and education programmes that help developing strategies to identify and overcome fall hazards.

Do some physical exercise

  • Have physical activity at least for 30 minutes, three to five times a week.
  • Prefer exercises with low to moderate intensity, such as walking, activities performed inside water.
  • Perform exercises that allow increasing the muscular strength of the lower body.

Eat healthy food

  • Have balanced meals.
  • Drink liquids with frequency.
  • Maintain a diet rich in calcium and D vitamin.

Mind for your health and drugs intake

  • Look for medical advice and supervision near your doctor.
  • Monitor your vision and hearing.
  • Get informed about the side effects of the drugs you are taking and contact your physician in case of discomfort.
  • Use an organizing box for your pills. You can choose from simple solutions to smartest solutions such as automatic medication dispensers, with reminder systems to ensure medicines are taken properly.

Socialize

  • Maintain a close social network of relatives and friends.
  • Get yourself involved in community initiatives and affiliate with older adults’ organizations, senior universities or other training opportunities, social centres, among others of your preference.
  • Are you a user of any social network? Those can also help you maintaining a more frequent contact with friends or relatives!

Who can help me preventing falls?

Enlist support from your relatives and informal caregivers for taking simple steps to stay safe. Get advice and support from your physician, physiotherapist or other relevant medical professionals. You can also look for specialized advisors in your community and for community-based programs for fall prevention, for example via exercise. If you are interested in Ambient/Active Assisted living technologies such as the ones we exemplified above, the project ActiveAdvice will soon be able to support you in searching, get information and advice about the best solution for your particular case. Stay linked to our blog and subscribe our newsletter for more information!