It is said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and I believe it, especially when it comes to taking “steps” to avoid falls. Statistics show that most Senior’s accidents take place in their own home. Most frequently those falls take place in a bathroom or kitchen…or a bedroom on the way to the bathroom. Taking an assessing look at your home for ways to avoid falls may save you from an accident. Review these areas to see if there are adjustments that can be made for your well being.
Hallways and Walkways
Look for trip hazards such as cords: electric, computer, telephone. Even knowing the cord is there still poses a risk of a fall if you are distracted or are walking in the dark. If there are cords that may cause a fall, arrange furniture and lamps so that the cord can be run along a wall or placed between the furniture and the wall out of the way from where you walk. Consider rug or runners as a fall risk. It might be best to remove them entirely. It’s all to easy to slip or catch your toe on them. Use a nightlight for hallways to light your path in the dark.
The kitchen poses many potential hazards. Check to make sure your kitchen is arranged for safety. Close cabinet doors when you’ve finished accessing them. Keep towels and combustible items away from your stove or oven. Wear short sleeves or pull your sleeve up when you cook to avoid catching on a pot or catching fire when you reach for something on a back burner. Have a fire extinguisher handy and have it checked periodically to ensure that it will work when you need it. Low lighting and shadows can contribute to a fall. Consider using brighter bulbs and opening curtains. If you need to reach into high spaces use a step stool with a handle to reduce fall risks.
The bathroom is a notorious place for falls. Water can make the floor very slippery, especially if you have ceramic tile. These suggestions might help you to avoid falls in the bathroom.
Apply textured strips or non-skid mats in the shower and tub.
Put a night light in your bathroom so you can see in the dark, especially if your bathroom has no windows.
Make certain there is a rug or mat when you step out of your tub or shower.
Attach secure bars in your tub or shower to keep you steady.
Last tip: Exercise your legs – even seated exercises will strengthen your legs and help keep you from falling. Do leg lifts, knee bends and toe raises while holding on to a heavy chair or a counter.
If you’d like more information about Premier Rehabilitation or Maranatha Village Retirement Community, you may call us at 417-833-0016 or check us out at www.premierrehabilitation.mvlife.org.