“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,” is heard daily on commercials for alert systems, but no matter one’s age, a fall can become a serious problem that requires months of rehabilitation. In some cases, it can affect a person’s life forever. Falling is the number one cause of injury for seniors, and it is especially dangerous for those with osteoporosis where bones easily break.
It’s possible for anyone to fall – outside in inclement weather, on the job, and in our homes where we spend most of our time. For that reason we will concentrate on home safety and how to prevent falls no matter how old you are. An alert system may work well for some, but start by being proactive and eliminate any issues that may lead to a fall.
Clean Up The Clutter
Children can create clutter in a home, but adults can “trip” themselves up as well. There should always be a clear path in your home to get from one area to another. Home should be a safe place for all ages.
Here is a quick safety checklist for your home:
- Remove any obstacles outside on the steps and at the entrance to your home.
- Move electrical cords away from traffic areas and even tape them to the wall if necessary.
- Be sure scatter rugs in the kitchen and bath have slip proof backs.
- Lighting should be adequate everywhere. Make sure there is a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Use night lights in hallways and leading to the bathroom.
- Remove hazards like magazines, newspapers, clothes, toys, and plants off the floor and out of access areas. This is especially important for older relatives who may have visual issues and decreased peripheral vision.
- Install skid proof mats in the bathtub, and install grab bars for getting in and out of the tub.
- Avoid wearing socks, slippers without a rubber backing and flip flops around the house. Instead stick to sturdy or low heeled shoes.
- Never get on a step ladder, chair, or ladder without having a “buddy” for support.
Regardless of your age, continue to get regular exercise. Simple walking and water exercises can help with balance issues, improve coordination, and will increase strength in your legs and frame. The more mobile you remain, the easier it is to increase bone and muscle strength and reduce the risk of falling.
Visit Your Doctor in Bremen GA
A wellness visit to Carrollton Orthopaedic Clinic in Carrollton, Bremen, and Villa Rica, GA can enhance what you are practicing at home to prevent falls. Ask lots of questions like, “Am I getting enough calcium for my bone strength,” and “Can my medications lead to falls?”
Find out how your current health issues can contribute to falling. Ask about medications and interactions with OTC drugs that can make someone confused or fatigued and increase the risk of falling.
Have the doctor recommend an exercise program commensurate with your age along with suggestions to improve your dietary habits.
Anyone can prevent falls with a little observation, preparation, and knowledge.