Terry Hanson, Client Care Coordinator for Comfort Keepers In-Home Senior Care of Madison, WI shares important tips for helping seniors prevent falls at home.
"Hi, my name is Terry Hansen. I'm the Client Care Coordinator for Comfort Keepers.
Today I'd like to talk about preventing falls in your home. Number one: big thing, keep moving. Physical activity can go a long way to help you prevent falls. Check with your doctor first to make sure that you're safe to do it, but think about activities such as walking, water workouts, Tai Chi which is a general exercise that involves slow movements to improve your strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.
Wearing sensible shoes: consider changing your footwear as a part of your fall prevention plan. High heels, flip-flops, even walking barefoot is very unstable for you. Think about getting shoes that fit good, have non-skid surfaces on them, and they will also help you possibly with joint pain. Remove the hazards from your home: take a look around your home, your hallways, living room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, stairs.
Remove boxes, newspapers electrical cords, phone cords, away from these hallways. Moving coffee tables or magazine racks, piles of newspapers, out of your walk zone. Securing loose rugs with double-sided tape or non-skid backing. Repairing loose carpeting. Wooden floorboards that are loosened would be a trip hazard for you. Storing clothing, dishes, food, or other necessities within arm's reach so you're not having to step up on something.
Cleaning up immediate spills so you don't forget about them and down you go. Non-skid mats in your bathtub or in your shower, using a shower seat also allows you to sit and be more secure while showering. Proper lighting in your home is essential. Placing night lights in your bedroom, in the hallways, and your bathroom. Placing a lamp within your reach, possibly a touch lamp for in-the- middle-of-the-night needs. Consider trading traditional switches (light switches) for glow-in-the-dark so you can see them when you need to get up in the middle of the night. Storing a flashlight within easy reach is always a good thing too, in case you have a power outage or just can't find that light to turn it on.
Things that you can put in your home to assist you such as handrails, a raised toilet seat with possibly arm rests on it to help you up off the toilet, grab bars in your shower, a sturdy seat in your shower to sit on. Ask your doctor for a referral or talk to a physical therapist or even your senior centers, they can give you referrals and possibly some solutions to make things easier for you."