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Tips for Preventing Falls

Indoor Lighting

Make sure stairways and hallways have a bright light. Always try to use the highest wattage allowed. Night-lights can be crucial for that middle of the night trip to the bathroom.

Clutter

Just having things out of place can cause falls. When objects are out of their normal place, they can be forgotten about, overlooked and tripped over.

Extension cords Find a way to arrange your furniture so that the extension cords are out of the way.

Lack of handrails

Don’t use the soap or oils to clean the railings on your stairs. Do not grab random items for a grab bar or handrail. It wasn’t designed to hold the weight of a human being.

Scatter rugs

Be sure all throw rugs or scatter rugs have a no skid backing. Be careful of the edges.

Pets

Somehow these precious little creatures manage to get under your feet sometimes and can cause falls. Be aware of where your pet is and their toys. Be careful when visiting others who have pets too.

Outdoor Lighting

It is just as important as indoor lighting. Use all available outdoor lights whenever possible. Sensor light are available that will turn on whenever there’s movement. That’s good for you and bad for intruders.

Uneven walking surfaces

Be sure to avoid broken sidewalks or areas under construction, if at all possible.

Mother Nature

Mother Nature presents many hazards of falling. Snow and ice are the greatest culprits. When you are out in your car, park where it is clear of snow and ice. Try to keep your driving to daylight hours so that you are able to see the patches of ice on the street and in parking lots.

Keep a bag of kitty litter (the non-clumping kind) in your car during winter, it can be used to create traction and help you get out when your car is stuck. Use the buddy system. Let someone know where you are, or better yet, take a friend with you when you travel. Changes in our body Some of the reasons seniors tend to fall more often are changes in vision, lack of flexibility, less muscle strength, especially in our legs, and changes in sleep patterns.

It is important to have an eye examination every year and wear the glasses as prescribed by the eye doctor. Exercise on a regular basis can increase muscle strength and flexibility and improve balance. Regular exercise will help you sleep better as well.

Chronic Health Condition

High blood pressure and heart problems can cause dizziness that can lead to falls. Remember to get up from laying down position slowly if you have heart problems, high blood pressure or vertigo. Many elders fall while trying to make a run for the restroom because of difficulty controlling the bladder. Talk to your doctor about what can be done for this condition. This will help to reduce your risk of falling. Don’t rush around.

Medications

Both prescription medications and over the counter drugs can cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness. Talk to your nurse, physician or pharmacist about the side effects to expect from medications. If the side effects continue, talk to your physician about changing the medication or dosage.

Make sure if you see more than one physician that each one knows ALL the drugs you’re taking. Take all of your medications, including over the counter medications with you each time you visit the doctor. This can aid the physician in providing you more tailored care for your specific needs.