*This is a guest post by Holly Clark
The leading cause of injury-related deaths is falling, and those at a higher risk of falling are those with dementia. Some of the factors that contribute to the fall are their inability to tell other people about their needs, their impaired judgments as well as the decline in their sensory perception with time. When these people fall, they are very likely to sustain life-threatening injuries. To ensure that people with dementia are protected from falling, there are tips that should be put into use by their caregivers.
Providing them with visual clues can help prevent them from falling; this is because those who have dementia normally have difficulty when it comes to separating colors that may seem similar. You can, therefore, use totally contrasting colors to distinctively define the top as well as the bottom of your staircase.
Keeping help on hand is another tip that should be used by every household with a person living with dementia. Since older people with dementia are at a higher risk of falling, it is therefore essential for you to make sure that they can easily and quickly call for help when they need it. You can do this by making them wear a fall alert bracelet or even an auto detector.
Jane Byrne, project coordinator from a nursing home in Wicklow, points out that dementia can destroy a person’s visual system, and this can, therefore, lead to illusions as well as misperceptions. According to her, if you live with a loved one with dementia, make sure to reduce visual difficulties as much as you can by making sure that every room has enough lighting. With good light, the chances of people with dementia to misinterpret what they see will be reduced; hence, their chances of falling will also reduce.
All walking paths in your home should be cleared. Those with people with dementia in their homes should make sure that all tripping hazards are removed; this is to make sure that they don’t trip while walking around the house. The best way to prevent falls around the house by making sure that all pathways are cleared.
Making sure that all-important things are kept beside their bed is also very important. This is because people with dementia tend to have restless nights; because of this, they may want to wake up at night to look for items like torch, tissue, or water. It is therefore vital that you keep these on a table beside their bed, this way; you will be able to prevent them from tripping and falling while going to look for these items at night in the dark.
Noise levels should also be lowered if you live with a person with dementia. This is because they are more sensitive to noise, and too much noise may make them more nervous and anxious hence losing balance in their feet and fall. You should, therefore, make sure that the noise level in your house is as low as possible.
These tips are supposed to help you make small changes in your home to make it a friendly environment for your loved one who has dementia. Apart from that, they also enlighten you on some of the possible triggers of anxiety and nervousness, which may cause a fall. So it is only fair that you use them and prevent your loved one from falling.