For anyone age 50 and above, an accidental fall can bring special risks. Young people can heal relatively quickly from injured body parts; for older folks, there is much more of a danger of serious and lasting damage, including hip fractures, cuts and head and brain injuries. As a result, it is crucial for seniors to be mindful of the steps that can be taken to minimize the potential for falling. Here, as suggested by EverydayHealth.com, are a few pointers that can be valuable in this regard.
• Clean up clutter. The easiest method for preventing falls is to keep one’s home neat and tidy. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers and magazines, especially from hallways and staircases.
• Repair or remove tripping hazards. Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls, which can then lead to back pain and other injuries. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that stick up. Then repair, remove or replace those items for more effective fall prevention.
• Install grab bars and handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without getting injured. One suggestion is installing grab bars by toilets and bathtubs and handrails in stairways and hallways. Have a handyman or family member help with this if necessary.
• Avoid wearing loose clothing. Everyone wants to feel comfortable at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make a person more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting and properly hemmed clothing that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground.
• Light it right. Inadequate lighting is another major hazard. To create a home that’s more suitable for the elderly, install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways. It is also recommended to add night-lights in bedrooms and bathrooms for better guidance at night.
• Wear shoes. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing shoes. Non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet can also be purchased if shoes are too uncomfortable.
• Make it nonslip. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms and porches, can become extremely dangerous when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, nonslip mats are recommended.
Perhaps the only thing worse than suffering the consequences of a bad fall is knowing that it could have been easily prevented! Anyone who applies these tips can feel confident that they are taking positive steps to prevent a potentially traumatic experience.
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