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Fall Prevention in the Home

Did you know that about one third of people over the age of 65 fall each year and that number rises to 1/2 of all seniors over the age of 80?  Many seniors list falling as one of their greatest fears. With over half of falls occurring in the home, there are many things families can do to help keep their loved ones safe.

  1. “MY STUFF”: Put frequently used items in easily-accessible places.
  2. STUMBLING BLOCKS: Clutter, small furniture, pet bowls, electrical or phone cords, and throw rugs can cause falls.
  3. FURNITURE: Arrange furniture so you have plenty of room to walk freely.
  4. BATHROOM: Use non-slip items in the bathroom. Add a tub rail, grab bars, elevated toilet seat and/or bath seat.
  5. HANDRAILS: Use the handrails on your stairs. When you carry something up or down the stairs, hold the item in one hand and use the handrail with the other.
  6. LIGHTING:
    • Make sure you have enough lighting in each room
    • Use light bulbs that have the highest wattage recommended for the fixture. 
    • Have a lamp by your bed.
    • Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power goes out and you need to get up at night.
  7. CARPETS: Secure carpets to the floor and stairs. Use non-slip rugs, or attach rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
  8. FLOORS: Avoid wet floors, and clean up spills right away.
  9. SHOES: Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or shoes/slippers with smooth soles on stairs or floors without carpet can be unsafe.
  10. EYES & EARS: Have your eyes and hearing tested often. Always wear your glasses when you need them. If you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well, and wear it.
  11. MEDICATION: Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy, slow or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  12. SLEEP: Get enough sleep. If you’re sleepy, you’re more likely to fall.
  13. ALCOHOL: Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount can affect balance and reflexes.
  14. KEEP ON MOVING:
    • Stay physically active.
    • Light exercise to increase lower-body strength, as well as simple balance exercises, can help prevent falls.
    • Consider assisted devices when walking alone becomes unsafe, like a cane, walker or wheelchair.
    • Weight-bearing activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, may slow bone loss from osteoporosis.
    • Visit  www.eldergym.com/elderly-strength.html to find sample exercises to help prevent falls.
    • Stand up slowly after eating, lying down, or sitting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint.

 

For more information visit http://www.learnnottofall.com/

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