While falls can happen anywhere, more than half of them happen in the home. In fact, one in every three adults 65 and older falls AT HOME each year in the U.S.
While there are some obvious tips to reduce your likelihood of falling (like making sure that certain tripping hazards are removed), we’ve asked our doctors to compile a short list to help you make your home truly “fall-proof.”
First things first, common warning signs for falling are:
- Feeling pain or stiffness when you walk
- Needing to walk slower or to hold on to things for support
- Feeling dizzy or unsteady when you get up from your bed or chair
- Feeling weak in your legs
- You take more than one medication
- Low vision or vision problems
- You’ve had at least one fall in the past year
Risks to consider when fall-proofing your home:
- Is the lighting adequate, especially at night?
- Are stairwells well lit?
- Is there a working flashlight in case of power failure?
- Can lights easily be turned on even before entering a dark room?
- Are there any surfaces that are frequently wet?
- Are steps and stairs in good repair and the appropriate rise?
- Do steps have handrails in good repair?
- Are there throw rugs in the walking path?
- Does the family pet often sleep in walking paths?
- Is the carpet in good repair without tears or fraying?
- Are there extension cords or raised door sills in the walking paths?
- Is there a clear path from the bed to the bathroom?
If you feel that you are at risk for falls, talk with your physical therapist.
At the Jackson Clinics, we can provide fall risk assessments that will help determine any areas of risk. By participating in a fall prevention program, you can reduce the likelihood of a fall and increase the ability to live independently. Fall prevention programs mainly focus on core strength, flexibility, and patient education.
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