Fall-Proof Your Home - PIH Health - Whittier, CA

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Healthy Living Online

Published on March 14, 2016

Fall-Proof Your Home

Shower equipment to help prevent fallsWe could all use a few tips to help prevent falls at home, but it’s even more important for seniors, especially those with limited mobility or those who live alone.

Common fall risks include:

  • balance problems
  • muscle weakness
  • arthritis
  • vision problems
  • medications
  • hazards in the home

While the causes of risks due to physical ailments may be not be preventable, risks due to hazards in the home can be. Eliminate or reduce them with a few simple changes.

1. Keep your home well lit — especially stairways, halls and outdoor pathways; use nightlights in hallways and bathrooms; add remote switches (clap on/off) to light the way ahead or if the use of your hands is limited

2. Remove hazards — such as raised doorway thresholds, throw rugs, clutter, electrical cords and excess furniture; also, repair loose carpet or flooring

3. Clean up — wipe up spills immediately; if you use crutches, clean the bottom tips regularly

4. Add support — if you use a walker or cane, add rubber tips; install handrails and grab bars inside and outside of your home; add non-skid mats inside and outside tubs/showers, near toilets and sinks; use shower chairs or bath benches

5. Make daily activities easier — store everyday items on lower shelves and use reaching devices for those higher ones; if you need to use a step stool, use one with handrails

Stay Fit and Exercise

“Don’t underestimate the importance of fitness to prevent falls,” says Edward Estrada, PA-C. “Exercise improves your strength, agility and balance. Also, review your medications with your doctor, side effects can sometimes cause dizziness or imbalance.” It doesn’t take much to cause a nasty fall; fortunately, it doesn’t take much to help prevent them either.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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