The good news is that falls are not a normal part of aging, and can be prevented! Since the place you are most likely to fall is in your own home, here are some simple steps to keep you safe
- Be aware of your surroundings. Remove all clutter from your pathways—including throw rugs and electrical cords. Arrange furniture so you always have a clear walking path.
- Install sturdy handrails on your stairs. In the bathroom, install grab bars in the shower or tub, or use a shower seat with a hand-held shower head.
- Rearrange the contents of your cupboards to be within easy reach—knees to shoulder. NEVER stand on a chair to reach something high.
- Keep it bright. Use night lights in your bedroom and be sure to turn on the lights if you get up at night.
- Take your time. Don’t rush to answer the phone or door, walk carefully. If you feel dizzy, stand up slowly. It’s also a good idea to sit on the edge of the bed before standing up when you first wake up.
- Wear well-fitted non slip shoes with low heels and good support. Don’t walk in your socks. Make sure laces are always tied and short enough to prevent tripping
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review all medication you are taking—even over the counter drugs, vitamins and supplements. Some medications have side effects that can lead to a fall. Always keep a list of your current medications.
- Don’t lift or carry anything that’s too heavy. When unloading your car, or putting away washing make several trips with small loads.
- Ask your doctor or therapist for safe exercises that build strength and improve balance.
- Take care of your feet! Trim toenails and check feet every day for sores, bunions, calluses, warts and numbness. If your feet hurt, you will be less active—which could increase your risk for falls.
If you do fall, see your doctor right away, even if you are not hurt, you should find out why you fell to keep it from happening again!
For more information about preventing falls, please click here http://www.fvfiles.com/520270.pdf to see a comprehensive checklist about preventing falls, visit https://www.fairview.org/overarching-care/home-care-and-hospice/fall-prevention, or call 612-721-2491 for more information.