Aged care at home: tips for preventing falls

A person using a walker.

Aged care at home is the ideal for many families. But do you feel that your older loved one is at risk of falls?

There are simple things that you can do that will reduce the risks.

A different style of walker or a new shower chair can make a real difference.

Removing tripping hazards, eating and sleeping well and ensuring the older person understands their limitations are also important.

Personal alarms are another item in your toolkit. They provide peace of mind for family members and practical support in the event of an emergency.

Physiotherapists and occupational therapists play a very important role in falls prevention. They can recommend  products and devices that help keep older people safe.

Here are some simple tips to prevent falls at home:
  • Are there tripping hazards in the home that you could remove?
  • Are they aware that it may not be safe to do things that they used to take for granted? eg. reaching for something that has fallen on the floor.
  • Are they wearing appropriate footwear? Even slippers need to be supportive.
  • Are they staying as active as they can? There are simple exercises that your family member can do while staying seated. (Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise regime.)
  • An older person’s diet should include plenty of protein and calcium to keep their bones strong.
  • Vitamin D is essential for strong and healthy bones. Sitting in the sunshine to have a morning cup of tea can make a big difference. Many older Tasmanians need to take a supplement.
  • It’s easy for elderly people to become dehydrated. This in turn causes physical weakness and confusion. Always make sure they have a glass of water at hand.
  • Are they sleeping well? Insomnia can affect a person’s physical and mental health.
Anglicare’s Aged Care team takes falls prevention in older people very seriously.

Falls prevention training is mandatory and held every year.

When a new client enters our service, we conduct a home safety check. This helps us to identify any safety risks for both the client and our team members.

Our clinical team members are trained nurses. They make sure that falls prevention is part of a client’s care plan.

Older people’s skin is susceptible to tearing and breaking if bumped or grazed. You will need to have basic first aid supplies on hand and seek professional support if there’s a wound that needs dressing. Our nurses are also trained in wound care.

Sometimes the costs of home modifications such as a chair over the bath, grab rails and ramp can come out of a home care package. This is something that we can look into with you.

Further information about Anglicare’s statewide Aged Care services is available here on our website. You are also very welcome to give our Aged Care team a call on 1800 466 300.

Here are some more handy resources on how to prevent older people who live at home from falling:

Council on the Ageing Tasmania (COTA)

COTA’s Living Longer, Living Stronger program

The Tasmanian Government’s Healthy Ageing Plan

This booklet from the Australian Government includes a page of exercises that can be done while seated, as well as lots of other useful information on healthy ageing.

The Eating Well section of the Tasmanian Government’s Healthy Ageing website



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