Falls are the leading cause of injury in senior adults over 65 and the fear of falls can often times cause a person to stop doing activities they enjoy. Falls at home are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook, but also easy to fix.
Different factors can increase the risk of falling such as:
– Past falls
– Chronic diseases
– Hazards in the home & community
– Multiple medications
– Problems walking
– Poor vision
– Balance problems
– Memory problems
– Improper footwear
Here are some helpful hints to fall-proof your home:
– Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep them from slipping.
– Move obstacles in the room until there is a clear pathway.
– Are there cords/wires you have to walk around? If so, coil or tape cords/wires next to the wall.
– Keep stairs clear of all objects. (It’s easy for us to place something on the stairs to take up or down when going next time.)
– Fix any loose or uneven steps.
– Make sure there are handrails on both sides of stairs.
– Good lighting is essential for stairways.
– Loose or torn carpet on the steps that needs to be fixed?
– Install grab bars in the bathroom rather than pulling on towel bars which can easily come off the wall.
– Use a shower seat/bench if you have poor balance standing in the shower.
– Make sure you have a light near the bed that’s within reach.
– Is the pathway from the bed to the bathroom lit well?
You may want to place a phone near the floor in each room in case you fall and aren’t able to get back up; or if you no longer have a landline, carry your cell phone with you at all times – even room to room.
You can reduce your fall risk by getting regular physical activity which will improve balance, strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Check your medications with your doctor since some can make you sleepy or dizzy and cause you to fall.
Poor vision can also increase your chance of a fall so be sure and make regular eye exam appointments.
Last but not least, wear shoes with a good grip.
By following some of these helpful hints, you are on your way to preventing future falls. If you do have an unfortunate fall despite all these tips, remember that BLC has Outpatient Therapy services along with Short Term Skilled Therapy Inpatient stays at The Seasons@Alexandria. All you need is a doctor’s order for any type of Outpatient service. The Village@Erlanger also offers multi-levels of skilled therapy, nursing and functional maintenance programs in a caring and compassionate environment with one-on-one sessions.
BLC Fall Prevention Guide trifold