1) Remove all scatter rugs from the home in all rooms.
2) If using a bath mat, leave it on the floor only when the patient is in need of it.
3) Remove stools and coffee tables that minimize the space available for someone to walk from point A to point B.
4) Make sure there are hand railings inside and outside the home.
5) Secured rubber mats on wooden steps or concrete steps and make a huge difference in steps being a risk factor.
6) Make sure hallways and rooms are well lit.
7) Canes and walkers can be of great assistance, but they can also be a hazard if a dementia patient is not capable of remembering how to use the item or doesn’t know how to use it safely.
8) Patients should wear tie shoes, not floppy slippers, clogs or shoes where the heal has been worn down so it acts as a clog.
9) Walking on wet bathroom or kitchen floors is a problem.
10) Steps give way to outdoor ramps to minimize falls as well.
11) Dogs and cats can be a tremendous risk factor because of their movement and being “under foot.”
Issues around balance, forgetfulness, medications or a patient’s inability to understand directions or words puts patients at much greater risk for falling. Generally, if elderly patients have a fall they seldom will bounce back to their “base line” where they were before the fall occurred. Every precaution needs to be taken to protect them as much as possible.
Source: www.nextmonitoring.com and Ray Melanson’s FB post