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.
*This video provides examples of preventing trip and falls, however some equipment, for example a stair lift, may not be suitable for you or may not be available in every local authority. Equipment provision varies from council to council and it is important to be assessed for suitability. Please speak to your OT for more information.
Here are 5 steps you can take to minimise your risk of falling:
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you have a personal alarm, wear it! It is no good sitting on the side.
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.
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.