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Tips for preventing falls

Tips for preventing falls

Enliven community support physiotherapist Ellen Van Dijken.
Enliven community support physiotherapist Ellen Van Dijken.

Making simple changes to prevent falls around the home can be the difference between staying in your own home and moving into care. Enliven community support physiotherapist Ellen Van Dijken is offering a few tips for preventing falls this year.

“When people get older, especially over the age of 80, if you break your hip it’s extremely difficult to get well again. Skin tears easily and things often take a while to heal. That’s why prevention is key.”

Ellen says the consequences of a fall aren’t just physical either.

“It creates a fear of falling again, which can hold people back from doing the things they enjoy because they have lost their confidence. It becomes a downward spiral for the person affected.”

Ellen says putting a few simple preventative solutions in place is easy, with leading causes of falls around the home including loose floor mats, level differences, and showering.

“People’s eyesight deteriorates as they get older so there are some simple things, like highlighting the edges of outdoor steps with white paint, that can be easily done to make them more visible,” Ellen explains.

“Make sure mats stick flat to the ground and don’t curl up. If people are struggling with getting in and out of the bath or shower, even with a handrail, I highly recommend getting extra support. That’s where Enliven‘s in-home support services come in.”

Ellen says Enliven can organise a community support worker to visit regularly to help people with everyday tasks so they can keep their independence at home.

“An Enliven community support worker can help with showering, medication reminders, keeping their home tidy and safe and taking care of their overall wellbeing. It’s all about maximising people’s independence at home,” says Ellen.

Enliven’s in-home support, personal care services, meals and house keeping services are available for people living in Whanganui, Horowhenua, Kapiti, Wellington, Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata, over both the short and long term. Click here to find out more. 

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