Staying on your feet

Ever fallen over your cat or dog? An extension cord or a rug? Having a fall can have a major impact on your life, but there are many things you can do to lessen your risk of falling at home.

Murdoch Hospital Falls Prevention Coordinator Sarah-Jayne Powell says identifying your risk of falling is imperative to staying on your feet.

“If you have problems with walking and balance, need help when going to the toilet, have low blood pressure, are taking lots of medication, are confused or disorientated or have eyesight problems you might be at risk of having a fall,” says Ms Powell.

“If you are in hospital recovering from surgery, you can also be at risk of having a fall, especially when getting in or out of bed, or going to the bathroom.”

Families of patients are also able to help by keeping the bed rails down, rather than up, so that patients don’t try to climb over them.

“If you are going to give slippers as a present while your loved ones are in hospital, its best to give sturdy, non-slip slippers,” says Ms Powell.

Every patient who is admitted to St John of God Murdoch Hospital is screened for their risk of falling and if they score at a certain level, strategies will be put into place to ensure this risk is minimised.

St John of God Murdoch Hospital, the University of Notre Dame University and Murdoch University are collaborating to develop a targeted exercise program to help prevent falls in the home, with monitoring of patients after they
are discharged from hospital post joint replacement.

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