Fall prevention is a special concern for the older population. In addition to fragile bones, older people gradually lose much of the muscle and body fat that has cushioned and protected their bones. Loss of padding in the hip area may make the hip bones more vulnerable in the person falls. The good news is that falls can be prevented with attention to safety outdoors and in the home.
Safety Tips to Avoid a Fall
- Use an assistive device if necessary, such as a cane or walker, for added stability. Use crampons on shoes or boots when icy.
- Remove all throw rugs and make sure carpets are tacked down.
- Keep all rooms free from clutter, especially on the floors, including keeping electrical cords out of the way.
- Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes even at home. Avoid walking around in socks, stockings, or scuffs.
- Be especially careful around pets. Your “best friend” can inadvertently cause a fall, both in the home or when outside.
- Be sure stairwell are well-lit and that stairs have handrails on both sides. Consider placing flourescent tape or bright paint on the edges of steps, especially the top and bottom.
- Install grab bars for the tub, shower, and toilets.
- Use ample lighting and put a nightlight in your bedroom, bathroom, and hallway.
- Keep a flashlight handy in case of a power outage.
- Use a rubber mat in the shower or tub.
- If you must use a stepstool, use a sturdy one with a handrail and wide steps for hard to reach areas. Alternatively, reorganize work area and storage to minimize the need for excessive reaching.
- Avoid situations where you are vulnerable to falling. Let someone else climb the ladder.
- Consider purchasing a portable phone, cell or trac phone that you can take with you. It provides security because not only can you answer the phone without rushing for it, but you can also call for help should an accident occur.
- Keep in daily contact with family or friends.
- Monitor your medication. Drug interactions can cause dizziness, loss of balance, and sedation.
If concerned, consult your physician who may refer you to a physical therapist who can help to improve your flexibility, strength, and balance. Choose Allied Services for all your rehabilitation needs.