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Falls Prevention

This entry was posted in General September 25, 2017

Elderly people are exposed to many risks both inside and outside their own home. One of the leading causes of injury, especially during the dampest and coldest months, is falls. The 22nd of September is internationally recognised as ‘Fall Prevention Awareness Day’ to raise awareness of how critical falls can be. In honor of this day, and in preparation for the arrival of Autumn and Winter, have a look at our fall prevention checklist and start preventing your falls in and out of the house.

Make your home safer

In order to avoid falls, it is important to remove or reduce all hazards from your home. Start by reducing clutter: avoid having a lot of furniture and loose items around your home, especially in corridors and small spaces. Try to wear non-slip slippers and avoid using long trousers or clothes that are likely to lead to dangerous falls.

Research has found most falls are caused by the presence of loose rugs and carpets around the house. Make sure you remove all rugs to avoid slipping on them. Check if your carpet is in good condition, especially in those areas of the house where the dangers are higher, like stairs.

Stairs should always be clearly marked to make steps evident and banisters should be checked regularly. It might also be a good idea to invest in a stairlift and bright lights to make everyday life much easier.

Bathrooms should always take centre stage when making one’s home safer, as they can easily be seen as the most dangerous room in the house. Make sure you always pay extra attention to the way you get in and out of the bath or shower and that your bathroom is equipped with slip resistant mats and grab rails.

Be careful outside the house

As autumn and winter approach, it is important to be extra mindful of falls, as wet and frozen surfaces make them more and more likely. Check your walking stick, frame or crutches and their ferrule (the rubber cap at the end of the stick) are working as they should. At Ableworld we offer free ferrule safety checks: simply walk in any of our stores and ask one of our staff to have a look.

Strength and balance training

While it is very common for over 65’s to suffer from falls, strength, stability and balance training can help you avoid them. Doing regular strength, balance and stability exercises doesn’t have to be hard: walking, dancing or practicing activities such as Tai Chi can make a massive difference in your ability to balance your body and avoid falls. Exercise is also a great way to strengthen the immune system, which can be weaker at this time of the year. Consult your GP about activities in your area and start getting stronger this season.

Medical examination

If you experience falls very often, even after following our tips, it might be a good idea to consult a doctor to check your eyesight and general health. If you are taking medications and these have not been reviewed in more than a year, book an appointment with your doctor and talk to them about your balance concerns.

While anyone can suffer an injury from falls, elderly people are much more vulnerable and likely to get long-lasting injuries following one. Most falls don’t result in serious problems, however, many could lead to long-term issues that can and should be avoided. Follow our advice to lead an active and safe fall-free lifestyle.

 

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A Guide to Urinary Incontinence

This entry was posted in General September 7, 2017

In the United Kingdom alone, between 3 and 6 million people suffer or have suffered from urinary incontinence at some point in their lives. While incontinence is a topic that many don’t want to discuss, it is a reality for many people awaiting a diagnosis or going through the often ignored aspects of ageing and side effects of particular illnesses. The term incontinence can be described as the involuntary lack of control over bladder liquid, resulting in loss of urine. Incontinence, while being a source of stress for many people is not a disease, rather a symptom of other conditions. Urinary incontinence might be caused by childbirth damage, pressure on the bladder (such as pregnancy or excessive weight), surgery, trauma following a stroke, enlarged prostate, menopause, neurological conditions, connective tissue disorders and the use of certain medications. Although there are many types of urinary incontinence the most common include:

Stress Incontinence

This type of urinary incontinence happens during physical movement that puts pressure on the bladder and leads to the occasional leak of urine. This is not a constant issue but it is very uncomfortable when laughing, coughing, exercising or sneezing.

Urge Incontinence

This type of incontinence is very common and it manifests with the sudden urge to urinate, often leading to leakage before it is possible to reach the toilet.

Mixed Incontinence

People who suffer from this type of incontinence experience the symptoms of two or more types, the most common being stress and urge incontinence.

Functional Incontinence

Unlike any other type, functional incontinence is caused by physical or mental barriers. People who suffer from this type of incontinence do not recognise the need to go or cannot access the toilet, leading to various degrees of urine loss.

Overflow Incontinence

This type of incontinence happens when the bladder is not properly emptied, leading to overflow and leakage.

Total Incontinence

Total incontinence is experienced when the bladder is incapable of storing any liquid, leading to a constant flow of urine.

There are a wide range of products available to help those experiencing incontinence, including:

Bed pads and seat pads

They are a great way to protect your furniture.

Underwear protection

Briefs are available as a re-usable, washable option or as a disposable alternative.

Pads

Incontinence pads can be used within normal underwear for varying incontinence levels, from light to heavy incontinence.

Skin Care

Skin should always be cleaned and hydrated with specific products to avoid redness, soreness and infections.  

When you are choosing the best incontinence products you should consider:

  • Absorption, to avoid discomfort and minimise leakage;

  • Kindness on skin. The materials used for incontinence products and the ingredients used in your preferred skincare range should not lead to soreness or irritation;

  • Comfort. After consulting our staff and choosing the best option for you, it is important to find a shape and product that fits you and your lifestyle;

  • Type of protection. Many women when struggling with incontinence use sanitary pads as opposed to specially designed incontinence pads out of economic convenience and/ or embarrassment. However, they are built for different purposes and therefore ineffective for incontinence issues. In the same way, different incontinence products are suitable for different needs, consult our staff for the best type of protection for you.

Most people struggling with incontinence are embarrassed about their condition and avoid asking questions or getting the help they need. At Ableworld we know how difficult it is to find the right incontinence products. This is why we provide free samples of our continence range for our customers to take home and test. We can help you choose the right products for you and give you the advice you need without judgment, as we pride ourselves in our ability to protect the dignity of our customers and anybody who comes to us for help.

When struggling with incontinence, the most important thing to remember is that it is a very common issue that millions of people struggle with every day and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is possible to lead an active, sociable and regular lifestyle despite the struggle, by finding the right products that fit your specific needs. Contact us for more information.

 

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