How to Prevent Falls

Falls are not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented. 

Falls pose serious health risks for many aging individuals, whether rendering broken bones, traumas, infections or, in some cases, fatal injuries for those elders at risk. Consequently, it is essential that caregivers or family members take preventative measures to safeguard those vulnerable individuals from falling. Once a fall has taken place the decline can be quick for an elderly or vulnerable person. That’s why it’s important to identify those at risk of falls and getting the correct measures in place to prevent a fall from occurring.  Early alert systems to notify caregivers that an at risk individual requires assistance is a proven method to prevent falls and reduce injury caused by falls.

Statistics show that 1 in 3 older adults fall every year in the U.S, with more than 80,000 individuals sent to hospitals due to a fall – reducing them to a wide array of injuries such as broken hips or loss of function in their body. The negative effects of these falls are exacerbated by the financial implications inflicted on those seniors when they leave the hospital, with the average medical cost for a fall-related injury costing around $30,000. Indeed, this is a costly and devastating price to pay when it can be preventable with the right measures in place. 

In this article we will look at what causes falls, especially for the elderly, and most importantly we will provide some help and advice on how to prevent falls from occurring. 

What Causes Falls?

There are a number of reasons as to why seniors are susceptible to falling, whether it be from the medication they consume or any underlying health issues they may have (in most cases associated with their old age). Despite everyone being capable of falling, the elderly are particularly susceptible to dangerous physical damage as their aging bones and muscles become less supportive overtime. Consequently, looking out for the warning signs and implementing preventative steps are instrumental for these Seniors, as a way of safeguarding them from fatal injuries. Below is a list of the most common signs to look out for; 

  • Physical Struggles: Seniors who have recently had a stroke or surgery are at increased risk of falling.A lot of these falls are more likely to happen in the process of getting out of bed. Incontinence or other conditions that require leaving bed in the middle of the night can also increase the risk of a fall. If a senior’s eyesight is failing, they’re more likely to fall in general but are especially vulnerable when they are tired.
  • Medication: Medication can hinder their chemical brain structure, affect sleep quality, and cause abnormal dreams. All of these increase the risk of a senior falling from bed.
  • Mental Struggles: Risks also extend beyond the physical realm and can be caused by emotional trauma too. If a Senior member has previously fallen from their bed, you may notice that they have anxiety to sleep. If multiple falls occur, they can have compound physical and mental effects, meaning prevention is key to create a harmonious and healthy lifestyle for the aging individual. 
  • Restless Sleep: Many falls occur during dream cycles. Seniors have shared stories of “jumping” from bed as part of a dream and waking up on the floor.

Evidence stipulates that a large majority of people who are living with dementia are prone to falling out of bed. Indeed, those living with cognitive impairment may become unaware of their physical limitations. They often will attempt to get out of bed even though they may lack the ability to walk on their own, leading to a fall. Additionally, incontinence is very common in people living with dementia; however, the instinct to get up and go to the bathroom remains. This often causes them to make multiple trips to the restroom on their own at night –       a breeding ground for falls to occur. 

Common Mistakes Made When Trying to Prevent Falls From Bed

Mistakes often made in this particular sphere of work  is that people focus too much on reducing the effects of falling, rather than the prevention. Any fall can be fatal and even a non-fatal fall is likely to lead to further falls in the future. We believe the focus should be on preventing the fall from occurring in the first place, and with the right methods, this is certainly possible.

The most dangerous time when falls are likely to occur is when getting out of bed so this is when it is important for caregivers or nurses to be around. Allowing carers to be notified quickly and accurately when someone is leaving their bed is the main focus of Val-U-Care and we have several products that can be used in this manner to help prevent falls.

How to Prevent Falling Out Of Bed

There are a number of preventative methods you can take to maximise the safety of an elderly individual.

Products such as Quiet and Cordless bed pad alarms are a perfect solution for many. These devices signal an alarm notification if pressure is removed from the pads, informing a caregiver that the elderly individual is attempting to get to their feet. A caregiver is then notified of the movement and can respond quickly and proactively before a fall occurs. The wireless alarm can also be placed in a convenient location with the caregiver, therefore removing the noise from the elder’s room. We offer a landing mat for those prone to falling out of bed. This mat will help reduce the impact if a fall occurs as well as notify the caregiver that assistance is needed. These systems also have an adjustable sound setting which can be tailored to the individual’s sensitivity levels. Loud alarms can cause further distress so being able to tailor volume is important.

Our innovative bed exit alarms are an extremely convenient and cost effective solution for fall prevention. The bed alarm systems work by alerting caregivers that someone is attempting to leave their bed without assistance. The bed exit alarm will sound an alarm when pressure is removed from the bed sensor pad, informing the caregiver that help is needed. This allows the caregiver to promptly get to the individual and stop a fall before it occurs. Silent Bed Alarms are a great option to ease stress in the patient while still alerting the caregiver effectively.

For the past nine years, we at Val-U-Care have been specializing in the distribution of Smart Caregiver bed exit alarms. We firmly believe that, with the proper use of bed exit alarms, you can effectively and efficiently prevent wandering at night, and unnecessary injuries from falls amongst seniors. The fall prevention and anti-wandering products that we offer can greatly improve the quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver. The home healthcare systems that you find at Val-U-Care are the same products being used in healthcare facilities nationwide. Regardless of a chronic condition or if you find yourself with a temporary situation, we have the home healthcare supplies that you need.

If you have any concerns on how to prevent falls from beds please don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Val-U-Care. There are many different types of bed alarm systems and our experts are happy to help find the solution that’s right for you. Val-U-Care can be reached by telephone on 1-888-622-3304 or email at sales@val-u-care.com.

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