We looked to our friends at the CDC for some safety tips to keep in…
Fall Prevention: Simple Tips to Prevent Falls
Fall prevention may not seem like a lively topic, but it’s important. As we get older, physical changes and health conditions — and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions — make falls more likely. In fact, falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. Still, fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Instead, consider these simple fall prevention strategies.
General Fall Prevention – This list applies to all rooms in your home.
• Keep your lower body as strong as possible through regular exercise (see your Physical Therapist for an individualized program).
• Be sure all hallway and stairway areas are brightly lit.
• Remove all clutter (e.g., boxes, stacks of magazines, toys, extra furniture).
• Get rid of all throw (scatter) rugs. Tack down loose or torn carpet.
• Use non-skid backing on all area rugs including bathroom throw rugs.
• Use non-slip wax on floors
• Apply yellow safety tape to the changes in surface levels (steps, thresholds) so they are easier to see.
• Be sure lighting is adequate. Install night lights or motion detector lights in commonly used areas (e.g., hallways, stairways, bathrooms, bedrooms).
• Keep electrical and telephone cords out of your walkways.
• Be aware of pets that can get under your feet.
• Consider a personal emergency response system or cell phone.
• Keep important phone numbers close to all phones and a phone close to your bed for emergencies.
• Consult a professional before investing in medical equipment.
• Clean up spills and wet surfaces immediately.
• Be sure your doctor has a complete list of all the medications you’re taking including herbal and natural products.
• Check with your doctor if your medication causes you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. Exercise caution when moving from a seated to standing position. Some medications may place you at a higher risk for falls (e.g., heart, blood pressure, sleeping, and water pills).
• Keep your medication list with you at all times. Place this list close to your telephone in case of an emergency.
• Clean your eyeglass lenses frequently and keep fresh batteries in your hearing aid.
• Wear low or no-heel shoes that fit well. Wear sturdy slippers with non-skid soles. Try using shoes with elastic laces or Velcro closures.
• Wear short garments or pants rather than long dresses and robes.
It may be necessary to change the environment to make your home easier and safer to navigate. Below is a guide to help you evaluate your home for safety risks. Please note: All NO responses indicate a possible safety risk and should be corrected immediately.
Here are some additional tips to keep in mind to help prevent falls.
• Have a qualified individual install a ramp.
• A single step should have a grab bar for support
• Place a railing on both sides of stairways.
Living Room & Family Room Tips:
• Consider changing round door knobs to level handles.
• Consider a chair with arms for added safety.
• All cords should be placed along walls not under rugs or across traffic areas.
• Use nonskid pads for furniture on hard wood floors.
• Keep all pot handles turned inward on stove.
• Place items frequently used within easy reach.
• Never stand on a chair to reach a high shelf.
• Place milk in small pitchers so it is easier to carry.
• Leave bathroom door unlocked.
• Never use a towel bar for support.
• Consider a shower chair/handheld shower head.
• Remove clutter from all surfaces.
• Keep a bell at your bedside to call for help.
• Keep a phone on your nightstand to call for help.
• Close doors and drawers after use.
• Place frequently used clothing in top drawers of dresser for easier access.
• Consider moving your washer/dryer out of basement.
• Consider using a laundry bag with a shoulder strap rather than a basket.
For more information on how you can take charge of your health and help prevent falls, contact Carson Tahoe Physical Therapy in Carson City at (775) 445-5757 or Minden at (775) 445-7842.