Standing Steady & Preventing Falls in Heston West! Linking up with local GP's to help raise awareness
By Taz Virdee
We all know at least one person who may suffer the consequences of a fall but did you know that many could be prevented. On Tuesday 28th February 2017 - Dr Suni Perera and her team from Crosslands Surgery and Heston Medical Centre visited the Brabazon Community Centre to deliver an interactive workshop to help raise awareness and offer effective self-care tips for participants over 50yrs to stay steady and safe. This event was attended by 20 local residents.
In the workshop we explore the following questions:
In partnership with Hounslow Hope and NHS Primary Care Trust, participants were also made aware of local health services such as: Link Line Plus, CarePlace and Adult Social Care.
During the workshop, participants had the opportunity to explore light, safe and effective exercises aimed to give them the confidence and knowledge on how to get up safely if they did fall.
We also explored methods on how to prevents falls in the first place, as most injuries and deaths occur at home.
"I enjoyed wide variety of advice and information made available and the friendliness and helpfulness of all the presenters."
Here are some steps provided by NHS you can take to ensure your home is ‘fall-proof’:
1. An important step toward preventing falls at home is to remove anything that could cause you to trip or slip while walking.
Tripping on clutter, small furniture, pet bowls, electrical or phone cords, or other things can cause you to fall. Slipping on rugs or slick floors can also cause falls.
2. Arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk freely.
Also remove items from stairs, hallways, and pathways.
3. Be sure that carpets are secured to the floor and stairs.
Remove throw rugs, use non-slip rugs, or attach rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
4. Put non-slip strips on floors and steps.
Put non-slip strips or a rubber mat on the floor of your bathtub or shower, as well. You can buy these items at a home centre or hardware store.
5. At home and elsewhere, try to avoid wet floors and clean up spills right away.
Use only non-skid wax on waxed floors at home.
6. Be careful when walking outdoors, and avoid going out alone on ice or snow.
A simple slip on a slick sidewalk, a curb, or icy stairs could result in a serious injury.
7. During the winter, ask someone to spread sand or salt on icy surfaces.
Be sure to wear boots with good traction if you must go out when it snows. Better yet, don't take chances walking on icy or slippery surfaces.
8. Poor lighting -- inside and outdoors -- can increase your risk of falls.
Make sure you have enough lighting in each room, at entrances, and on outdoor walkways. Use light bulbs that have the highest wattage recommended for the fixture. Put the light on when going toilet during the night.
9. Good lighting on stairways is especially important.
Light switches at both the top and bottom of stairs can help.
10. Place a lamp within easy reach of your bed. Put night lights in the bathroom, hallways, bedroom, and kitchen.
Also keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power is out and you need to get up.
11. Have handrails installed on both sides of stairs and walkways.
If you must carry something while walking up or down stairs, hold the item in one hand and use the handrail with the other. When you're carrying something, be sure you can see where your feet are stepping.
12. Properly placed grab bars in your tub and shower, and next to the toilet, can help you avoid falls, too.
Have grab bars installed, and use them every time you get in and out of the tub or shower. Be sure the grab bars are securely attached to the wall.
13. You might find it helpful to rearrange often-used items in your home to make them more accessible.
Store food boxes, cans, dishes, clothing, and other everyday items within easy reach. This simple change could prevent a fall that might come from standing on a stool to get to an item.
This event was our first step to working with GPs in our local area with aim to promote health and wellbeing issues and for GPs to start social prescribing our activities to local residents.
We are planning our next Health & Wellbeing Awareness event so watch this space!