Whole Home Blog

Fall Prevention Awareness Month

Posted on September 19, 2016 by kim

Did you know that 1 out of 3 Americans over the age of 65 will fall every single year? These falls can sometimes cause complications to health, wellness, and certainly to enjoying life and they can be costly with 2.5 million falls being treated at emergency rooms every year. Falls are absolutely preventable and are not a natural result of aging, and our friends from People Working Cooperatively have some ideas to help prevent falls in your home.

Make sure you have good lighting in your house. Stairways and entryways are important places to keep bright lights and you certainly don’t want to have to trek across a room just to be able to see where you are going. Additionally, keep a light by your bed that is easily accessible and plug in some night lights throughout your home, particularly in the bedroom and bathrooms.

Handrails and grab bars are easy to install and add safety and security though the house. Giving yourself some added support and help in the shower or bathtub or going up or down stairs can easily be achieved by installing no slip grip bars and even an extra railing on the other side of the staircase.

Get rid of needless tripping hazards. Clutter and objects on the floor can be detrimental and rugs are one of the leading causes to tripping and falling. That rug might add a nice decorative touch, but your safety and well being are so much more important. Make sure furniture doesn’t impede your walking path and always clean up spills or messes as soon as they happen.

Being comfy in your home is important, but so is being safe. Have both by investing in some good shoes and slippers with traction. Slippery floors or outside surfaces can present a hazard that good shoes can help you avoid. During the winter if there is snow or ice on the sidewalks hire someone to shovel and ice and when you are driving somewhere, be sure to carry a bag of salt or even cat litter with you so you can sprinkle on the ground to provide even more traction for yourself.

There are many common causes to falling that most people wouldn’t even think of. Always watch out for pets or small children - they are pretty unpredictable and could potentially run out in front of you. Make sure your eyeglass prescription is up to date or if you notice a change in your vision, schedule a trip to the eye doctor to get everything squared away. Always know the side effects of medication before taking it. A lot of common and prescription drugs can cause dizziness, which can increase the likelihood of falls.

Finally, exercise as much as you can. In fact, Harvard Medical School strongly encourages the practice of Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese mind-body practice that improves balance and muscle tone. It has bee noted that the risk of falls decreases by 55 percent in older adults who took up Tai Chi three times a week.

There’s no need to live in fear or feel like you have to cut back on your day to day life activities as you age. With some simple safety, health, and home improvements you can continue living the life you love without the fear of falling.

 



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