Falls and their prevention are a major concern for those who serve as caregivers to the elderly, physically disabled, and those with limited mobility. This concern also extends to the care recipients, often resulting in fear of being alone or in performing activities independently.
Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that these concerns are warranted: over 800,000 patients are hospitalized each year due to fall injuries, 2.8 million seniors receive emergency room treatment for fall injuries, and one out of five falls cause serious injuries such as broken bones and head injuries.
How Can Caregivers Help Prevent Falls?
While there are no guarantees, there are some products that can help to greatly reduce the risk of a fall and ensuing injury. We are going to share with you some that we have found helpful.
Better socks can help
A simple, inexpensive item that is worn everyday can go a long way in fall prevention: socks. We're not referring to your usual crew or tube socks, but rather it is non-slip socks that we are talking about. These terry cloth socks have slip-resistant gripper treads on the top and bottom of them, helping to eliminate the risk of falling when you're walking around in the kitchen or bathroom or other areas in the home that are without carpet. For those whose balance may be off, the socks come in bright colors that will help with greater foot position awareness.
Be sure to buckle up
Wheelchair safety belts can help keep the patient secure in their chair until a caregiver can assist them in standing to get out. The safety belts have a Velcro closure and mounting straps, making them easy to affix and use. The feature that most caregivers will love is the attached personal alarm. This 95-decibel horn alarm will instantly sound off when the belt is released, serving as an alert to the caregiver and a reminder to the patient. A nine-volt battery is required for the alarm and it has a low battery indicator on it.
Another product that can help reduce wheelchair users risk of falling include are wheelchair front and rear anti tippers. Front anti tippers help keep the wheelchair from tipping forward; likewise rear anti tippers help keep the chair from falling backward. The front anti tippers can be adjusted to five heights to accommodate various wheelchair models and the rear anti tippers have a sliding mechanism that allows them to be infinitely adjusted. They are both easily attached to the front and back of the wheelchair frame respectively and come with the necessary hardware to do so.
We hope that you will check out these products and others designed to aid in fall prevention and that they will give you the caregiver and the care recipient a greater peace of mind.
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