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Falls. Falls cost the NHS millions of pounds a year. It means the patient is in agony sometimes from the injury that they have got from a fall. And they may have to have extra stairs in hospital as well. So as with everything, fall prevention is better than cure. So before we think about getting somebody and taking them for a walk or getting them from a chair, we have to make sure that we have got everything in place for them. So first of all, we need to make sure that they have got the correct footwear on. And the footwear needs to have a good grip on it, and it needs to fit them properly. If the person wears a hearing aid, get the hearing aid in. If they wear glasses, put their glasses on as well.
Ideally, if a patient, if a person asks, maybe they want to go to the toilet, or they want to sort of go somewhere, it is best not to wait till the very last minute. Usually, and it is well noted that usually older people, they tend to not want to bother people, and they tend to wait till the last minute. And research shows that a lot of people fall, especially in the NHS, when they want to go to the toilet because of waiting till the last minute. So if somebody asks you to go, do not say, "Wait a minute." Just think, they need to be taken now. We need to make sure, before we take somebody for a walk, that the area is clear, that there are no obstacles that they are going to trip over on.
If you have got somebody who you know may fall for whatever reason, medical reason, then ideally safe practice is to get them to walk alongside a wall, a sturdy wall. So if they were to fall outwards, you could redirect them towards the wall, and then they could just slide down the wall. If you have got somebody who perhaps can not walk very far, make sure that the person that you are taking for a walk, you keep within their capabilities. So if a person overstretches themselves, then they may fall. So sometimes we can take along a wheelchair. So once the person gets tired, rather than fall on the floor, you can just sit them in the wheelchair.