Falls are a leading cause of injury and care concern. For fall prevention, focus on three key areas: what you can do for yourself, how you can improve your environment, and who you can contact for help.
Movement is key
Being physically active is the key to fall prevention. It promotes maintenance of good leg strength, balance,
coordination, flexibility and joint mobility (knees, ankles, hips, shoulders, elbows, and wrists.)
- Some ideas for physical activity are walking, weight training, cycling, Tai Chi, water aerobics, and yoga. If you avoid physical activity out of a fear of falling it actually increases your fall risk.
- Always wear good shoes: Proper fit, non-skid and sturdy. Avoid slippers, high heels, slick soles and walking around in socks.
- If you feel a decrease in your physical strength or coordination and balance, your doctor may refer you to physical therapy. A physical therapist will tailor a unique program to improve your strength, balance and coordination to reduce your risk for falling.
Make your home fall proof
- Keep your rooms, hallways and stairways well-lit and free of clutter. Remove electrical cords from walkways. Get rid of area rugs and carpets or secure them to the floor (Velcro stripping works very well.)
- Put non-slip tape or floor mats in the shower or bathtub.
- Keep commonly used items within
close reach. If you must store commonly used items, do so on shelves between hip and eye level.
- Use night lights in areas where you sleep or commonly walk at night
- Consider installing hand rails for stairs, toilets and showers.
- Make sure you have a phone within
reach at all times. Clean up spills right away – get help if you need.
- Don’t use stepping stools.
See your doctor
- Some health conditions increase your risk of falling: Heart conditions, brain conditions, orthopedic conditions, or ear and eye disorders. Make sure you are receiving proper treatment of your health conditions.
- Have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- If you fall, keep track of the details and share them with your doctor: Who, what, where, when, why and how.
- Some medications put you at a higher risk of falling. Make a list of all of your medications and review them with your doctor. Many medications have side effects that can contribute to falling.
- Maintaining good overall health can help to reduce your risk for falling.
- Ask if Physical Therapy may help to reduce your risk for falling.
Article Provided by:
Andrew Toop, Director
Josephine Caring Community