As we age, falling can become more and more of a concern for people over 65 and their families. According to the CDC, an average of 36 million falls have per year among people aged 65 and older- that’s 1 in 4 people! Here are some tips to keep you and your loved ones safe:
Lighting: It’s easier to trip over what you can’t see.
- Add a night light between your bed and the bathroom so that you can see where you’re going when you have to get up in the middle of the night.
- Make sure stairs are well lit in your home.
- Use light bulbs that are the maximum wattage to provide good lighting.
- Use light switches that glow so you can find them at night.
- Keep a lamp or flashlight beside the bed in case you need to get up at night
Clear the Clutter
- Make sure that furniture is placed in a way that allows a clear path for walking.
- Remove items from all paths and walkways that may create a tripping hazard.
- Keep wires and cords out or walkways.
- Remove throw rugs or make sure they are taped around the edges to prevent slipping
Stairs and Steps
- Keep stairs clutter free.
- Use the handrail when going up or down the stairs.
Frequently Used Items
- Keep items that you use frequently in places that are easy to reach, where they are not too low and not too high and don’t require leaning over or step stools to reach.
- Use non slip rugs or no slip adhesive strips in places that may get wet or slippery.
- You may need to have grab bars installed around toilets and showers.
- An elevated toilet seat may be a good idea if you have difficulty getting up off the toilet or have balance issues.
- Shoes can be a trip hazard if they do not fit properly.
- Make sure that shoes fit properly and have non-slip soles.
- Make sure shoes have a back or a strap around the heel. Shoes, like flip flops that don’t go around the back of the foot can cause a person to trip.
- If you are feeling unsteady, a cane or walker may help.
- To keep from having to lean over, a reacher would be a good investment.
See a Physical Therapist
- A physical therapist can show you hip, leg and core exercises to help make you more stable, practice balance exercises and come up with effective strategies to prevent falling in your home and community.
- At Carolina Physical Therapy, we are committed to helping those at a higher risk of falling. Call any of our clinics today for an evaluation if you feel yourself or a loved one are at risk for falling!