The return at home with Md PhD Sandra De Breucker

08 Dec 2022

In this episode of Mintt Academy, Sandra De Breucker, Head of Geriatrics of the Erasmus Hospital tells you more about how to approach the return at home after a fall.

When returning home after a hospital stay or a rehabilitation period, the patient who has fallen will need to go back to their familiar living environment. This environment may need to be adjusted. If you, as a family member, want to help your relative to feel at home again by removing the elements that could cause a fall, pay attention to the lights for example. Shouldn't dim lighting be replaced by LED lighting? Or should a system be installed that turns on when the person passes by so that the path to the toilet can be clearly visible at night?

It is also necessary to check that the carpets are well attached to the floor. If not, remove dangerous carpets so that the feet do not get caught in them. You can also put everything that should be picked up at eye level so that people don't have to stand on a stool to go and get these things from a cupboard.

The bed, chair or toilet may need to be raised: that will make it easier for the person to get up, using their assistive device if necessary. It is also important to ensure that there is enough space in the doorways to move from one room to another with a stand.

One area that is particularly prone to falls is the bathroom. With water splashing, patients can slip, fall and possibly fracture, which is obviously not desired. To prevent this, it is suggested that anti-slip mats be used in the bathtub, in the shower or on the floor. It is also possible to put bath seats in the shower or bathtub. We can also fit handrails s that the person can hold on to get out of the bath or shower.

These adjustments can be made by occupational therapists who come to the home. They can give all the necessary advice on how to rearrange the environment.