Most falls happen from standing height and don’t result in injury. However, if the fall is from any extra height, even a single step, the level of damage will increase, especially if you hit something on the way down. Additionally, falling outside in very hot, cold or bad weather can stress our bodies, especially if help is slow in coming.
The damage done by any fall depends on how, where and when we land, the strength of our bones and skin, and how quickly help comes.For many people, it is difficult to get up after a fall, without help. All of this makes it important for a person with low vision to think ahead and make an emergency plan for help in the event that they do fall, particularly if they live alone or are alone for long periods of time.
The aim of the emergency plan is to get help as soon as possible to reduce the impact of the accident and minimise any distress. Making a good plan of what to do in the event of a fall or emergency will involve how to call help and how the help will get to the person who has fallen.
What you can do:
- Carry a mobile phone which can be used to dial 000.
- Consider acquiring a device or personal alarm that will initiate a call for help when activated.
- If you live alone, consider asking a friend, family member or a special service to call and check on you at the same time every day.
- Remember the person who comes to help needs to be able to get into the home – it may be wise to offer them a spare key or have a key kept by someone who lives nearby.
- Make a list of people or organisations that can be called in case of an emergency. Be clear about which number to call in different circumstances to get the right help and keep this list in important areas such as your wallet, on the refrigerator or next to your home phone.
- Always have your ‘in case of an emergency’ contact clearly marked.
Your emergency plan will help you to feel more confident and in control. It will also reassure family and friends, so be sure to involve them in creating the plan so they know what has been done, and how they can help in the event of an emergency.