Every year, seniors and older adults are seriously injured by falling, and many times they fall in their own home. The good news is, most falls can be prevented by simple changes in the home and lifestyle.
Grab bars and sturdy handrails at stairways
There are four simple, yet important things to do to prevent or at least minimize the risk of falling.
1. Have a Regular Exercise Program
Regular exercise improves balance and mobility, improves bone and muscle strength, and generally makes you feel better. It shouldn’t be anything too strenuous – things like walking or Tai Chi are low-impact and are some of the best exercises.
2. Have Your Vision Checked Once a Year
If you don’t wear glasses you may need them. And if you already have glasses the prescription may need to be updated. The eyes change as we age and ensuring you can see well will decrease your chances of falling.
3. Review Your Medications
Have your doctor or healthcare provider review your prescription and non-prescription medicines regularly to make sure everything is working properly. Over time, new medications may be added or removed from your regimen and this can effect how they all work together. The wrong medication combinations can cause dizziness or drowsiness which increases your risk of falling.
4. Make Sure Your Home is Safe
We perform hundreds of home safety evaluations each year and many times we find simple things that can be changed to make the home safer.
- Ensure proper lighting throughout the house both inside and outside
- Clear unnecessary clutter from any walking areas inside and outside the home
- Use non-slip shower strips in the tub and shower
- Install a fold-down grab bar next to the toilet
- Add grab bars in or next to the shower
- A padded shower bench can give you a place to sit if you feel dizzy while in the shower
- Use a step stool with a handle to reach in cabinets
- Keep frequently used items in a drawer or easy to reach area so you don’t need to reach up high to retrieve them
- Install a Toilevator to raise your toilet
- A Super Pole can be used in the bedroom for getting in and out of bed safely
- Remove loose carpet or rugs that can cause you to trip
- Install handrails at stairways or an Advantage Rail – make sure current handrails aren’t loose or broken
- Use a Couch Cane near sofas or chairs to make standing and sitting safer and easier
- Furniture Risers can increase the height of chairs and sofas and also make sitting and standing easier and safer
- Riser Recliner Chairs make it easier to to stand and sit
- A Handybar makes it safer and easier to get in and out of a car
- Place a Bed Cane Bed Rail near the bed so you have something sturdy as you rise out of bed
- Have a telephone in the kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom in case you do fall so you can call for help, or wear a pendant from a Medical Alarm Company that can be alerted at a moment's notice