Beehive Blog

Simple Tips to Prevent Falls

Posted by paula worley on Thursday, October 23, 2014

Simple Tips to Prevent Falls

Each year, millions of adults over age 65 fall.  Fortunately, falls are largely preventable. One out of three older adults fall each year. Of those adults, less than half talk to their healthcare providers.  Caregivers with Beehive Senior care are always looking for ways to improve our client’s health and safety. There are many ways to help prevent falls. As you get older, physical changes and health conditions, and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions, make falls more likely.  Begin your fall prevention plan by first making an appointment with your doctor. Some questions your doctor may ask:

  • What medications are you taking?
  • Have you fallen before?
  • Could your health conditions cause a fall?

Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. Your doctor can provide information about activities that reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Also, wearing sensible shoes and non-skid socks can help immensely. 

Removing Home hazards to make your home safer is a big step in fall prevention. Some of the things you should look for are:

  • Remove boxes, newspaper, electrical cords and phone cords form walkways.
  • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high traffic areas.
  • Secure loose rugs with double-sided tape, tacks or slip-resistant backing.
  • Repair loose, wooden floorboards, and carpeting right away.
  • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  • Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
  • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.

Lighten up your living spaces. You can avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see by keeping your home brightly lit.

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle of the night needs.
  • Make a clear path to light switches, or consider changing to switches that glow in the dark.
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down the stairs.
  • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.

Assistive devices can also be used or recommended by your doctor. Assistive devices include:

  • Cane or walker to keep you steady.
  • Hand rails for both sides of stairways.
  • Nonslip treads for bare wood steps.
  • A raised toilet seat or armrests.
  • Grab bars for the shower or tub.
  • A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub.

Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive. If all else fails, you can always ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist, to help you brainstorm other fall prevention strategies.

Sources:
http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358
Beehive Senior Care, Home Safety Evaluation 


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