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Rutland Information Service

Preventing falls: ensuring a safe home environment

Take a look around your home for things that may cause you to trip, slip or fall and address them to make your home safer. Steps you could take to make your home as safe as possible could include:

  • Ensuring floors are clear of trailing wires and trip hazards.
  • Ensuring steps and stairs are clutter free.
  • Securing or removing loose rugs and replace worn floor coverings.
  • Replacing low beds and chairs if you struggle to get up from them.
  • Storing clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  • Being cautious of slippery floors in the kitchen and bathroom.
  • Using nonslip mats in your bath or shower.
  • Keeping your home as warm and possible.

It is advisable to keep your home brightly lit, to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • Ensure you have a lamp within easy reach of your bed.
  • Make clear paths to any light switches that aren't near room entrances.
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
  • Store torches in easy-to-find places in case of power cuts.

Ask for a free Housing MOT if you would like advice about falls prevention around your home. Rutland County Council's Occupational Therapy team can also carry out an assessment to see if there are any pieces of equipment or adaptations that could help you stay safe at home.

Sources of information and support:

If you are experiencing falls or have already fallen, you should contact your GP.

You can find more advice on preventing falls here. Age UK also offer a local Friends Fall group.

If you would like to talk to someone further with regard to falls, equipment or adaptations for you or somebody you know living in Rutland, contact Rutland Therapy Duty on 01572 758324.

Creating a falls plan

If you live alone, or are alone for long periods of time you may want think about making a falls plan - what would you do if you fell? How would you summon help, and who would you call?

The quicker you are able to get help following a fall, the less likely you are to experience complications such as a pressure sore or dehydration. See below for advice on the sort of things your falls plan could incorporate.

Knowing how to get up from the floor

Should you fall, knowing how to get back up again safely could help to minimise the impact. This knowledge could also enable you to help someone else who has fallen.

Calling for help

In case you need help, you may want to consider using a mobile phone, even if it is just for emergencies. Ensure that you:

  • Keep it charged (and topped up, if you have a pay-as-you-go phone)
  • Carry it with you at all times
  • Share your number with family, friends or neighbours and tell them that the number is for emergencies so they know what to do if you call, or that you need help if you get cut off before you are able to tell them what has happened.

Using an alarm or other assistive technology

Personal alarms can be really useful if you have fallen, as they can connect you to a helpline or a designated person with the push of a button. There is a range of devices available to prevent or assist if you have fallen. Contact Rutland’s Assistive Technology service for free advice.

Letting help in

Consider how you would let someone into your home if you have fallen and you are unable to get up. You may want to think about: 

  • Leaving a spare key with someone you trust and who lives nearby.
  • Placing a spare key in a key safe – a small secure box with a combination lock which can be kept outside your home. This can be accessed by anyone you have shared the combination code with. 

Share your plan

Once complete, it is helpful to share your plan with your family, friends or neighbour. They will then know what to expect and how to help you if you fall.

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