How to Safely Assist in Patient Transfers

help patient standA move as basic as getting in and out of a chair can be difficult for a senior, depending on their age, flexibility, and strength. The height and stability of the chair or other sitting surface also plays a role in the successful transfer. A slightly raised seat is preferable to one that is low or deep. Following are the basic guidelines for safely assisting a senior in both standing and sitting.

Sitting to Standing Transfer

  • Scoot the person you are assisting toward the front edge of a chair, bench, or bed with their feet flat on the floor.
  • Make sure feet are positioned approximately shoulder width apart and slightly behind the knees.
  • Gently help shift the senior’s weight forward (over the toes) while they push up with both hands on the armrests of the chair or off of the bench or bed.

Read more How to Safely Assist in Patient Transfers

Top 10 Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

More and more seniors choose to live on their own these days. Living independently can be very good for your mental health, but you need to take steps to prevent accidents in your house and ensure that help can get to you in the event it’s needed:

1. Avoid slippery conditions: Make sure floors aren’t slippery. Put down non-slip floor mats in your bathrooms and install safety bars (also known as „grab bars‟) in bath tubs and showers, and next to toilets. Also install mats at the entry points to your house so floors don’t get slick on rainy days. Read more Top 10 Safety Tips for Seniors Living Alone

How to Make a Home Senior-Friendly

There are several ways to “fall-proof” your home in order to minimize the risk of falling, and below are a series of questions that should be checked immediately and should all have a YES answered to them. Besides fall proofing your home it is highly advisable to also select the Fall Detection service option when ordering your medical alert system.

  • Are sturdy railings or banisters securely placed along each stairway?
  • Are stairs, halls, and exits free of clutter?
  • Are throw rugs eliminated or fastened down?
  • Are electrical cords in good condition?
  • Are nightlights placed in the bedroom-bathroom area and in the halls? Wiring should not be frayed or stripped. Do not run electrical wire under carpet. Keep telephone wires away from walkways.

Read more How to Make a Home Senior-Friendly

Causes and Risk Factors of Falls

Many Possible Causes

Falls don’t “just happen,” and people don’t fall because they get older. Often, more than one underlying cause or risk factor is involved in a fall. A risk factor is something that increases a person’s risk or susceptibility to a medical problem or disease.

As the number of risk factors rises, so does the risk of falling. Many falls are linked to a person’s physical condition or a medical problem, such as a chronic disease. Other causes could be safety hazards in the person’s home or community environment. Read more Causes and Risk Factors of Falls

All about falls

Risk Increases With Age

Many people have a friend or relative who has fallen. The person may have slipped while walking or felt dizzy when standing up from a chair and fallen. Maybe you’ve fallen yourself.

If you or an older person you know has fallen, you’re not alone. More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year. The risk of falling — and fall-related problems — rises with age. Read more All about falls

Getting help after a fall improves the chance of survival by 80% and increases the likelihood of a return to independent living.

The risk of falling increases with age and declining muscle function reduces the ability to get up. If an older person is unable to get up off the floor after a fall, the risks of any fall are far greater because of the complications that can ensue from lying on the floor for a long time—for example, pressure sores (often exacerbated by unavoidable incontinence), carpet burns, dehydration, hypothermia, pneumonia, and even death. The high proportion of seniors not transferred to the hospital, the inability to get up has a poor prognosis in terms of injury and recovery following a fall. Lying on the floor for a long time is thus one of the most serious consequences of a fall. Read more Getting help after a fall improves the chance of survival by 80% and increases the likelihood of a return to independent living.

12 Tips to Avoid Falls

Wear shoes and slippers that have non-slip soles. Avoid wearing socks only – they might cause you to slip.

  • Be extra careful if your bathroom floor becomes wet. If your bathroom has handrails, hold onto them when getting up or down. Make sure non-slip strips are in your bathtub.
  • If you wear a bathrobe or nightgown, be sure it is short enough to avoid tripping on.
  • Don’t leave any clothes, magazines, bags, or other objects lying around on the floor – you might trip over them.
  • Place loose electrical cords or telephone wires out of walking areas.
  • Before you go to sleep, place your glasses within easy reach. Get out of your bed or chair slowly. Sit up before you stand.

Read more 12 Tips to Avoid Falls

Preventing Falls at Home

One in three adults over 65 years old falls each year. For those over 75 years old, one quarter of the falls result in serious injury. Falls are the immediate reason for 40% of nursing home admissions. Falls are the sixth leading cause of death among people over 70 years old.

Survey your living space towards removing the problems. In order to accomplish this you have to be willing to take deliberate action to change things in the home to make it a safer place for you and/or your loved one. Corrective action can take the form of removing a potential hazard, or adding a safety device to improve a problem area. Read more Preventing Falls at Home

Fall Prevention among Seniors

Falls are among the leading causes of death and injury in the older population. Families can greatly reduce the risks of accidents by ensuring that their older loved ones have the proper medical care and support.

Many people experience problems with their sense of balance as they get older. Suggest to your loved one that they set up an appointment to see his/her doctor if this is a concern. The doctor can determine if your loved one has a serious balance problem involving vertigo, viral or bacterial ear infections, Meniere’s disease, chronic dizziness, or drug interactions. Read more Fall Prevention among Seniors