Preventing falls in and around the home

Falls put you at serious risk of injury and can be fatal. It is a major cause of injury in older adults, and with an ever increasing life expectancy it brings challenges around lifestyle and health management.

It is always recommended that individuals speak to their GP to identify certain added risks of falling, as some medications and other medical disorders can increase a persons risk of falling. Anyone afraid of falling, or who has had a fall can self-refer or be referred to an OT. The OT can assess the persons daily activities, as well as assess their home environment and make recommendations for any home modifications that may benefit the individual. Funding is available through the DHB and self funded through private OT’s.

The Falls Prevention Centre of Excellence advises “adapting or converting the physical environment such as removing any hazards, adding any assistive devices and changing how/where activities occur to minimise risk” as important aspects to preventing unnecessary falls.

Once the GP has discounted any other possible medical causes considering the use of daily living aids such as grab rails, wheeled kitchen trolleys, toilet aids, bathing equipment, or a bed lever to assist getting out of bed can really decrease an individuals' risk of falling.