Health & Wellness Blog
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Posted by Scott filed under Safety
September 23rd, the first day of fall, is National Falls Prevention Day. Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults. They can be painful and result in trips to the emergency room, surgery, and sometimes may even be fatal. National Falls Prevention Day was created to raise awareness of the dangers of falls in the hopes of preventing them. On September 23rd, people everywhere should take some time to learn more about falls and how to prevent them.
Fall Prevention. To avoid falls, you should:
- Stay physically active. Exercise can improve your balance, muscle strength, and flexibility, which can prevent falls. Just simple exercises like walking, yoga, or water workouts can be a great way to stay active.
- Clear hazards in the home. Wires, stacks of books, boxes, and anything else on the floor can be a falling hazard. Keep your floors clean to prevent falls.
- Secure loose rugs to the floor. It’s easy to slip on a loose rug. Be sure any rugs are secured, or just get rid of them entirely.
- Watch out for loose carpet or floorboards. If you see any loose sections of your floor, you should get it repaired as soon as possible.
- Get nonslip mats. The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in the house; you should get nonslip mats for your shower and bathtub.
- Get a shower stool. If you’re very worried about slipping in the shower, a shower stool is a great choice.
- Make sure your furniture is sturdy. You should check to be sure your furniture won’t fall if you grab it for support. If it does, secure it to the wall or floor.
- Keep your living area lit up. Place lamps in areas that are darker, and check lightbulbs regularly to make sure none have gone out.
- Stand up slowly. Standing up too fast can raise blood pressure and make you feel dizzy.
- Get enough sleep. It’s easy to fall if you’re sleepy, so getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to prevent falls.
- Talk to your doctor about the side effects of medications. If any medicines make you dizzy or drowsy, be sure to tell your doctor.
- Install safety devices around your bathroom and your stairs. Hand rails and grab bars can be extremely helpful while in the shower and while going up the stairs
- Take extra precaution when going up stairs. Stairs are a falling hazard. You should go very slow and be sure the handrails on both sides of the stairs are sturdy.
- Use walking aids. If you feel like you need help keeping steady when walking, using a proper cane or walker is a good bet.
- Wear shoes around the house. Fluffy socks are comfortable, but it’s easy to slip while wearing them. Instead, you should wear shoes with non-skid soles and low heels
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause dizziness, which can lead to falls. Be sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
- Avoid alcohol. Just a tiny bit of alcohol can make you dizzy and lower your reflexes.
The folks at ConsumersAdvocate.org created an in-depth guide to understanding medical alert systems and how to find the right medical alert system for you or someone close to you.
Myers, Wyatt. (2015). “9 Ways to Prevent Falling at Home.” Retrieved from: https://www.everydayhealth.com/longevity/future-planning/prevent-falls-at-home.aspx
Mayo Clinic. (2016). “Fall Prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls.” Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/healthy-aging/in-depth/fall-prevention/art-20047358
National Institute on Aging. “Prevent Falls and Fractures.” Retrieved from: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/prevent-falls-and-fractures
National Center for Health Research. “How to Prevent Falls in Older People.” Retrieved from: http://www.center4research.org/prevent-falls-older-people/
American Occupational Therapy Association. “National Falls Prevention Awareness Day.” Retrieved from: https://www.aota.org/fallsday