Senior Living: Celebrate the first day of Fall… by preventing falls!

By Rhonda Kay Leonard

September 22: the first day of Fall

Falls in the home are the most common type of injury among people age 65 and better. With just a few lifestyle tips and easy-to-do home modifications you will be well on your way to preventing accidents.

  • Regular exercise and physical activity help lower the risk of falling. This includes simple relaxed walking. Be sure to wear safe footwear, including low-heeled shoes with non-skid soles that offer full support.  Avoid backless shoes and slippers.
  • Be knowledgeable about the medications you take. Have your doctor or pharmacist explain any risks with regard to dizziness or loss of balance.  Be sure to ask if certain combinations of your medications may be hazardous to your balance.
  • Have your vision checked and glasses updated regularly for your correct vision needs. Use the highest wattage bulbs allowable in fixtures in rooms, on stairs and at entrances.  Use night-lights in bedrooms, halls, bathrooms and the kitchen.
  • Install grab bars for the bath, shower and toilet. Improve tub and shower traction with non-skid pads or a rubber mat.
  • Keep floors safe. Throw rugs should be securely fastened to the floor or removed.  Always be aware of raised door threshold and uneven flooring.  Clean spills immediately and keep floors dry.
  • Deal with clutter and keep pathways clear. Arrange furniture to allow plenty of room to walk freely and remove anything that might cause tripping or slipping.  Keep electrical cords away from the floor and walking areas.
  • Create safer stairways. Install handrails on both sides. Make sure stairways are well lit with switches available on both the top and bottom of the stairs. To distinguish one step from another, apply a contrasting tape or edging strip.

Taking action to prevent a fall is one of the most caring things we can do for others and ourselves.

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