Falls are the leading cause of brain injury among the elderly. Falls also have a profound impact on mobility—yet many seniors who live independently don’t take the proper steps to protect themselves.
A safe environment can help prevent falls and encourage you to stay active and maintain your independence longer. For seniors returning home after in-patient rehab, fall prevention can help you get back into your normal groove and regain the confidence to move around your home.
Talk to Your Doctor
A decline in balance and coordination may be a sign of larger changes to your health. The first step to preventing falls always begins by talking to your doctor.
Make Changes to Your Environment
Rooms, hallways, and stairways should be well lit, and light switches easy-to-reach. Don’t forget to make sure the outside of your home is well lit also. This is especially important during the winter months when stairs and walkways may be covered in ice.
Cords from lamps and loose rugs can be major trip hazards. Be sure to secure rugs to the floor with rug tape, reposition cords, or consider removing those items altogether.
Make sure there are handrails installed along every staircase, and grab bars and handrails in all bathrooms. Add non-slip tape to bathtubs or showers.
Keep Everything Accessible
Store commonly used items within arm’s reach and avoid using top shelves. Never stand on a chair to reach an item.
Make Changes to Your Everyday Patterns & Habits
Wear Comfortable, Supportive Clothing
Loose clothing can snag or tangle. Keep pants hemmed at an appropriate length so they can’t get caught in your shoes. Find a pair of comfortable, non-slip shoes that you can wear throughout the day to give you a better grip, support your feet, and help reduce pain.
Take your time getting up and sitting down, and use supports like walkers and canes when needed.
Try Balance Exercises
Talk to a medical professional about exercises that can help improve balance and coordination.
Ask for Help
Never be embarrassed to ask for help—we all need it from time to time. When available, accept assistance from people offering to help you get in and out of seats, access hard-to-reach items, or lend a steady hand.
Don’t let the fear of falling keep you from the people and activities you love. Talk to your doctor about your concerns and work together to develop a plan for prevention.
Recovering from a fall? West Ridge Care Center’s skilled care services help patients return to their active lifestyle faster. Learn about our Rehabilitative Services here or contact West Ridge staff at (319) 390-3367.
This blog contains discussion about health-related subjects, and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advise, diagnose or treat any disease or illness. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please contact your doctor immediately or call 9-1-1.