As people age or develop certain medical conditions, they may become weak. This weakness increases the chances of falls. Fall prevention is a critical component of a treatment plan. Falls can be a sensitive subject for a patient to bring up at their doctor appointments, but it is very important.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries among seniors, resulting in cuts, fractures, or head injuries which may prove fatal. But fear should not rule their lives. Therefore adults and their caregivers need to learn practical tips for fall prevention at home.
5 Simple Methods for Fall Prevention
Losing balance due to a medical condition or blurry vision due to aging may cause a fall to occur. External conditions, such as slippery floors and steep stairs, can also cause someone to slip easily and injure themselves. Although it’s impossible to eliminate all potential for falling, there are simple steps you can take to increase the safety of your loved one at home.
1. Make Home Improvements
First, you should assess your loved one’s surroundings. You can make a great difference in keeping your loved one safe by performing regular home inspections and upkeep tasks, such as:
- Cleaning up the clutter from walkways
- Moving unnecessary furniture out of the walkway
- Repairing loose floorboards
- Applying adhesives to the bottom of rugs to keep them in place
- Maintaining clean and dry floors
- Using non-slip mats in bathrooms and the kitchen
- Installing brighter lights, especially in stairways and bathrooms
- Repairing any leaks.
Although your loved one may experience challenges in mobility and balance, chances are they still want some degree of independence. You can help them achieve this goal by monitoring and adjusting their living space.
2. Remain Active
People at high risk of a fall tend to avoid physical activity as they are afraid it will likely make them fall. Instead of fearing movements, encourage them to enjoy certain safer activities. These can include activities such as walking, gentle exercises, and slow dancing. These activities improve body strength, muscle coordination and balance.
3. Wear Fitted Clothing
If your loved one struggles with balance, he or she should avoid wearing loose clothing. Ill-fitting clothing can drag under their feet or get stuck on objects, which may cause them to fall. Wearing floppy slippers or shoes in the incorrect size can increase joint pain and also disturb one’s balance. Choosing adequately fitted clothing and shoes is a vital fall prevention intervention.
4. Equip the Home
There are plenty of products that help with mobility and prevent falls at home. For example, climbing staircases often cause dizziness. You can avoid a dizzy spell by installing a stairlift. Installing handrails, grab bars, bath steps, raised toilet seats, and shower seats also allow fall-prone loved ones to carry on with everyday tasks without fear.
Rushing around the house is one of the biggest causes of falls. Luckily, assistive technology can make life easier. For instance, stove alarms inform people when the cooking time is completed to save them from running to the kitchen. Automated door locks can be opened using mobile phones from the bed, allowing adults to move around at their own pace.
Assistive technology and proper home equipment are great ways to be proactive in preventing falls.
5. Consult a Doctor about Fall Prevention Strategies
Consult a doctor regarding medications, medical history, and previous falling incidents. The doctor may recommend an experienced orthopedic rehab clinic like Therapy Achievements. Orthopedic rehabilitation clinics offer physical therapy to improve balance to reduce the risk of falls.
Learn more simple methods to prevent falls by contacting our therapists at Therapy Achievements. We can provide helpful tips, physical therapy treatments, and support for you and your loved one.
Call us today to set up a consultation!