According to the CDC, more than one out of four older people take a fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor. One fall can double your chances of falling again in the future. Let’s take a look at what you can do to empower yourself to lessen your chances of a fall in your home.
- If you have difficulty with walking or balance, or have fallen in the past six months, talk to your healthcare provider about having a special falls risk assessment.
- Ask your provider if you would benefit from a home exercise program to prevent falls or some physical therapy.
- Do not rush to answer the phone. Many people fall trying to answer the phone. Either carry a cordless or cell phone or let an answering machine pick up. You can call folks back if you need to when you are able.
- When walking on smooth or slippery floors, wear non-slip footwear, such as slippers with rubber/no-slip bottoms or flat, thin-soled shoes that fit well.
- If you have a cane or a walker, always use it instead of holding onto walls and furniture. It is easy to “be comfortable” at home but being safe is just as important.
- Consider a power scooter for when you go out of the house to be sure you don’t get tired of walking far distances and always have a place to rest if you need to.
Safety Proof Your Home
- Make sure all hallways, stairs, and paths are well lit and clear of objects such as books, shoes, and other clutter.
- Use rails and banisters when going up and down the stairs. Never place decorative rugs at the bottom or top of stairs.
- Pick up all area rugs. They are easy to trip or slip on.
- Consider ramps. stair lifts and lift chairs to give you accessibility to all areas of your home.
- Have grab bars installed in the shower and near the toilet to make getting around easier and safer.
- Use rubber mats in the bathtub to prevent slipping.
- Treat your bathroom floors with a non-slip treatment.
- If you are having a hard time getting in and out of your tub, or on and off the toilet, ask your mobility concierge for a special tub chair or bench or raised toilet seat. As you age in place, there are also portable showers you could use as well as full bathroom modification.
If you find yourself falling often, talk to your doctor and be sure to get your eyes checked. Sometimes as we age, our prescription for our glasses changes and can result in increased falls as well. If you speak to your family members and your doctor, and together you determine that home modification may be best to avoid falls in your home, reach out to a Mobility Concierge at Mobility Doctor to schedule your complimentary home safety assessment. We will start you on your way to living a life without limitation.