Falls are by far the leading cause of unintentional home injury and death. The risk of falling increases with age. One in three older people fall every year and two-thirds of them fall again within six months. Older people are most likely to suffer serious injuries, disability, psychological consequences and death following a fall. Sixty percent of elderly falls occur in the home. 

It is important to be aware of this situation, because falls caused by accidents related to the person’s environment can often be prevented. Carrying out a walkthrough of the home to identify and remedy potential fall hazards will help to reduce this risk says Caitriona O Donovan who has responsibility for Health & Safety at Be Independent Home Care.

Caitriona who is a registered general nurse with a post graduate qualification in Health & Saftey from the National University of Galway has worked in the field of Health & Safety in Ireland and the UK for 10 years. Caitriona has used this experience to develop a pre-homecare inspection tool to carry out a safety risk assessment of each clients home. The outcome of the walkthrough and inspection can be something as simple as recommending

Doing away with loose rugs or mats (especially on a slippery floor), electric leads (trailing across the floor), dealing with wet surfaces (especially bathroom), or moving pots, pans, dishes or food items to lower cabinets. Measures such as the installation of handles and rails can reduce the risk of falls.

According to Caitriona “Obviously the home owner and the home owners loved ones are actively involved in this assessment that helps to ensure safety for both our client and our care team assisting them. Sometimes, the smallest changes make the biggest difference. At Be Independent Home Care the ultimate goal is to keep our clients as independent as possible for as long as possible and so before any home care or home help commences we offer this free assessment”.

For those who wish to complete their own in house assessment Caitriona points to this link to the American Safety Council website http://www.homesafetycouncil.org/SafetyGuide/sg_falls_w001.asp

For further information please contact Be Independent Home Care in Malahide or Howth on (01) 8283030 or website www.beindependenthomecare.ie