With an average of 10 domestic accidents per day in MS, changes in routine can save the elderly

With an average of 10 domestic accidents per day in MS, changes in routine can save the elderly
With an average of 10 domestic accidents per day in MS, changes in routine can save the elderly
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Falls, injuries and burns that occur accidentally inside the home are the three main occurrences attended to by the CBMMS (Military Fire Department of Mato Grosso do Sul) when it comes to domestic accidents.

This year alone, 650 incidents were recorded due to a person accidentally falling from height, which represents an average of 7 cases per day. In 2023, there were 3,687 accidents of this type recorded in the State, an average of 10 per day.

The main victims of accidents at home are elderly people – people over 60 years old -, a group that accounts for 30% of cases. It is important to highlight that these complications can be avoided with basic knowledge about the causes of domestic accidents and preventive attitudes at home, such as routine changes and adaptations to the home.

Pay attention to the signs

According to nurse Maína Ramsdorf, it is essential that the elderly are always assisted and accompanied. This is because accidental episodes can generate not only physical trauma, but also psychological trauma.

“Elderly people may lose confidence in being alone or carrying out simple tasks at home. Furthermore, it can cause trauma, as falls, for example, can lead to a fracture. Then there is all the recovery from possible surgery and physiotherapy… In almost all cases, the accident could be avoided with simple measures”, explains the professional.

Although the occurrences are just accidents, frequent episodes can indicate problems related to the elderly person’s health, so it is essential that family members are aware of the signs. The causes increase progressively with age, as they are directly linked to aging, such as muscle weakness and decreased vision.

“Older people have physiological musculoskeletal degeneration, so walking can be more difficult”, explains the nurse. “Companionship and assistance are ways to prevent falls, because the elderly are not left unassisted.”

Adapting environments is the way

According to Maína, many people are not aware of the fact that most accidents can be avoided. Just make some adjustments to your routine and residence and add some safety items that provide greater autonomy for the elderly person.

“Falls are usually related to loose objects around the house, lack of grab bars in the bathrooms and poor lighting in the environment, for example,” he explains.

“It is also important that the elderly wear appropriate footwear. If it is a flip-flop, it must have a strap at the heel. It’s also a good idea to avoid having carpets scattered around the house”, he points out.

Routine exams and adaptations

Another important point, since the indices are also linked to the health of the elderly, is to carry out periodic exams throughout the year, as a form of prevention. According to INTO (National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopedics), it is important for elderly people to undergo ophthalmological and physical examinations; physical activities that help develop agility, strength and motor coordination; daily sunbathing and a diet with adequate calcium and vitamin D intake.

Adaptations at home

In the room

  • Avoid loose rugs;
  • Do not leave furniture out of its usual place;
  • Ensure a free passage area, without coffee tables, plants or other objects that could represent obstacles;
  • Keep electrical wires and extensions securely attached, preventing them from becoming loose along the way;
  • Choose chairs and armchairs with armrests.

In the bathroom

  • Use a non-slip mat in the bathroom area;
  • Install grab bars on the walls near the toilet and shower;
  • Consider using a removable seat to adjust the height of the toilet;
  • Choose a sturdy box made of unbreakable material;
  • The shower chair can be used by those with more compromised balance;
  • Adjust countertops to a comfortable use height;
  • Avoid storing food or crockery in hard-to-reach places;
  • Immediately clean up any spilled liquid on the floor.

In the bedroom

  • Leave a lamp or switch next to the bed;
  • Use a bed of comfortable height to get in and out without difficulty;
  • Keep cabinets and drawers at accessible and easy-to-open heights;
  • Use a mattress with an appropriate density for your weight and size.

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