Fall Prevention

Most hip fractures occur as a result of a fall. Most falls and injuries occur in the home. There are ways of preventing falls by recognizing the dangers and taking the necessary steps to minimize the risks of preventable falls from known home hazards.Stairway

Falling is a national public health problem in the United States. More than 1/3 of people aged 65 or older residing at home and over 50% of institutionalized seniors fall each year. Falling is the 6th leading cause of injury related deaths among older adults. Older adults who fall once are likely to fall again within a year, and more than half of all falls happen at home.

What can I do to my home to make it safer, and minimize the risks of experiencing a fall in my home? There are actually quite a few things that you can do to make your home a safer environment.

 

Tips for "Fall Proofing" your Home:

Stairways

  • Provide enough light to see each step clearly, including the top and bottom landings
  • Keep the stairs free of clutter
  • Do not use patterned or dark carpeting on stairsBathtub
  • Install full-length handrails on both sides of the stairway

Bathrooms

  • Place a slip-resistant rug next to the bathtub for safe entry and exit
  • Install grab bars on the walls around the bathtub
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower

Bedrooms

  • Keep the floor free of clutter
  • Install a night-light along the route between the bedroom and the bathroom
  • Place a lamp and flashlight close to the bed where it is easy to reachLamp

Living areas

  • Arrange furniture to provide a clear pathway between rooms
  • Remove throw rugs and objects on the floor such as papers, magazines or boxes
  • Remove low-rise tables, magazine racks, footrests and plants from pathways
  • Keep electrical and telephone cords out of pathways
  • Tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can't trip over them
  • Secure loose area rugs and runners with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing
  • Do not stand on unsteady stools, chairs, ladders, etc
  • Make sure stairs are well lit and handrails are secure; have loose or uneven steps repaired
  • Use reflecting tape at the top and bottom of stairs so you can see them better
  • Improve the lighting in your home by using brighter light bulbs (at least 60 watts)

Kitchen

  • Clean up spills and dropped food from floors immediately
  • Use nonskid floor wax
  • Make sure you have a sturdy step stool with a bar or attached handrail to hold on to
  • Never use a chair as a step stool

 

Additional Tips for Preventing Falls:

  • Exercise regularly to improve your balance and coordination
  • Wear sturdy shoes with thin, non-slip soles. Avoid slippers and running shoes with thick soles
  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review all the medicines you take including over-the counter medicines. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy
  • Keep a cordless phone nearby at all times so you don’t have to rush to the house phone when it rings
  • Always know where your pets are and be mindful of quick, unpredictable movements; don’t allow your fury friends to get under foot
  • Tell your doctor if you often feel unsteady on your feet
  • Talk to your doctor about your risk of osteoporosis
  • Have your vision checked at least once a year by an eye doctor

 

If you would like to receive more information about "Fall Prevention Awareness Day" please call FEMR at (847) 324-3937 or email info@femr.org