Preventing Trips and Falls

Did you know that the most common cause of hospital admissions for people with MND is due to simple trips and falls, which could have been prevented?

Coping with an MND diagnosis can be so overwhelming that we often don't stop to think about things like tables, rugs, or even the kid's toys which could be a trip risk for people with MND.

MND may affect someone's balance, posture and ability to walk unaided. All of these things can lead to people with MND tripping or falling, which could land you, or your loved one, in hospital. One of the most common causes of hospital admissions for people with MND is due to simple trips and falls, which could have been prevented. A hospital admission is never desirable, but did you also know a stay in hospital could result in someone losing their care package?

Here we share the voices of real people affected by MND, with advice on preventing trips and falls inside and outside of the home, including useful tips for modifying your living with MND.

 

Don’t risk it!

Here are 5 steps you can take to minimise your risk of falling:

  • Ask your Occupational Therapist (OT) to carry out a falls risk assessment in your home

An OT’s role is to help you maintain your normal activities of daily life as much as possible.  To do this they may suggest other ways of working, or specialist equipment to help with activities you are having problems with. 

  • Remove any obstacles around the house

There are many things in our homes that are hazards, which we might not think are hazards, for example lift any rugs on your floors, move furniture to the walls of the room so you have space to move freely, pick up toys and put them away. 

  • Use your walking aids 

If you are given a splint, walking aid or any equipment - use it. It might not look nice but it will help you maintain your independence.

  • Wear appropriate footwear

Footwear, like slip-on slippers, can often cause trips and falls. Wear sturdy shoes like trainers - the ones with Velcro will help you put them on and take them off if you have problems with your dexterity. 

  • Personal alarms

If you have a personal alarm, wear it! It is no good sitting on the side.

Equipment and aids

If your Occupational Therapist recommends some equipment they will arrange this for you from statutory services. Purchasing equipment independently or borrowing from loan services may mean council carers cannot use them for health and safety reasons, so it is always advisable to get equipment from your local team. If your local team is experiencing difficulties accessing equipment they can approach MND Scotland’s Equipment Loan service.

Find out more 

If you want to find out more about preventing trips and falls, speak to your Occupational Therapist. If you don't know who this is, ask your MND Clinical Specialist or your GP. You can also download our leaflet on Preventing Trips and Falls

 

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