The last year has been tough on every member of society, but perhaps the hardest hit are the elderly. In the run-up to the first lockdown in March 2020, many communities were already banding together to make sure that older people were being cared for while they shielded at home.
The onset of the pandemic was, however, another thing to add to the list of risks posed to people aged over 70. The possibility of accidents happening at home just suddenly seemed even more concerning, as older people were not receiving regular visits from family and friends due to lockdown restrictions.
As lockdown continues, it’s worth being alert to the possibility of accidents that could happen in the home and how common these are. Knowing this information will help you make sure your elderly relatives are well cared for during this tricky time.
How common are accidents in the home for elderly people?
While trips and falls around the home can happen to anyone, the impact of an accident on the elderly and vulnerable is often more significant. This is usually because they are more likely to have health conditions that mean a fall could cause more harm. Additionally, older people are more likely to have less robust bones, so broken and sprained bones are more likely.
According to the NHS, around one in three adults aged over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year. Approximately half of this number will fall more frequently. Also, in the UK, falls are the most common cause of injury-related deaths in people over the age of 75.
Stay in touch
These statistics are worth considering whether we’re living in lockdown or not. However, during this period, it’s especially important to stay in touch with loved ones who live at home.
Call your older relative regularly to see how they are. This will not only give you the chance to check they’re ok and haven’t hurt themselves, but it gives them a chance to speak to someone and break up their day. Staying at home all this time can be isolating, so a daily call to speak to older parents or grandparents can give them a mental health boost.
Top tips to help
As well as speaking to relatives as much as you can, there are other ways to help your loved ones stay safe at home. Here are some top tips:
• Make sure they use their stick or frame
Your older relatives might not have a stick, but if they do, suggest that they use it around the house as much as possible, rather than using furniture for support. A side table or chair can give way, leading to a fall, so encouraging them to use the support options available can prevent falls.
• Buy them non-slip footwear
Kitchens and bathrooms often have lino or tiled floors, but this is where a lot of slips can happen due to water spilling over sinks and baths. To help them get around on non-carpeted surfaces, buy them some non-slip footwear. Slippers, such as these from Mobility Solutions, are ideal as they’re designed for older people who want to easily get around their homes.
• Give them emergency numbers
Make sure they have your number and other key contacts programmed into their phone. By having numbers on speed dial, they can quickly contact you if something happens.
• Get to know the neighbours
Do you know who lives next door to your older relative? It’s worth finding out who lives nearby to see if they’ll be able to look out for your relative and call you if they have concerns.
Until lockdown restrictions ease, we need to make sure we’re taking extra care of our elderly relatives. Try following these tips and keeping in contact with them to make sure they’re safe.
Do you speak regularly with your elderly relatives?
*Disclosure: Collaborative Post
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