Prevent falls at home

Categories: Blog,Caregivers,Families,Seniors

Hands with couple IIWhether you’re a caregiver for a loved one, living with osteoporosis, use a walking device, or just want some additional peace of mind within your home environment, here is a helpful list of some suggestions on how to prevent falls at home.

  1. Remove all loose wires, cords and throw rugs.
  2. Keep floors free of clutter.
  3. Be sure all carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or are tacked to the floor.
  4. Do not use slippery wax on bare floors.
  5. Keep furniture in its accustomed place.
  6. Install grab bars on the bathroom walls beside the tub, shower and toilet.
  7. Use a non-skid rubber mat in the shower or tub.
  8. If you’re unsteady on your feet, consider using a plastic chair with a back and non-skid legs in the shower or tub, and use a hand-held shower head to bathe.
  9. Use non-skid mats or rugs on the floor near the stove and sink.
  10. Clean up spills as soon as they happen (in the kitchen and anywhere in the home).
  11. Place light switches within reach of your bed and a night light between the bedroom and bathroom to guide your way.
  12. Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries beside your bed.
  13. Keep stairwells well lit, with light switches at the top and the bottom.
  14. Install sturdy handrails on both sides of stairs.
  15. Mark the top and bottom steps of stairs with bright tape.
  16. Make sure carpeting is secure on steps of stairs and throughout your home.
  17. Cover porch steps with gritty, weatherproof paint.
  18. Install handrails on both sides of porch steps.
  19. Place items you use most often within easy reach.  Avoid stooping or bending.
  20. Use assistant devices to help avoid strain or injury.  Use a long-handled grasping device to pick up items and use a pushcart to transfer hot or heavy items.
  21. If you must use a step stool, use a sturdy one with a handrail and wide steps.
  22. Consider wearing a personal emergency response system or keeping a portable telephone with you so you can call for help immediately if you fall.
  23. Don’t get up too quickly after eating, sitting or laying flat.
  24. Talk to your healthcare professional or pharmacist about the side effects of drugs you take.  Some can make you feel dizzy or drowsy.
  25. If you’re unsteady on your feet, use a can or a walker at all times.

We can never be too careful.  Taking these steps to help prevent falls in your home can save you a trip to the emergency room.  According to A Secure Life (http://www.asecurelife.com/), home accidents account for 21 million medical visits each year, which adds up to be about $220 billion in medical costs.  Also, more than 18,000 Americans die every year from injuries that take place in the home.  This makes it the second most common location for such fatalities.  (http://bit.ly/1U3MSqj)

 

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Author: MIMI Medical Staff