Did you know that falling is the number one cause of injury among older Americans? The risk of falls is even higher for those who suffer from a neurological condition such as Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy, ALS (Lou Gherig’s disease) and others. There are several ways that you can lower the risk of falling that are easy to do.
If you are one of the many people who have experienced falling, you are definitely not alone. In fact, over four million people in the United States suffer from falls each year. There are many reasons that people fall… from serious medical conditions to just plain clumsy, it happens to seemingly everyone. While at times slightly embarrassing, the important thing to know about falling is when it may signal something more than just lack of attention to your surroundings. It may seem like a little thing, but if you do experience a fall, talk to your doctor about it. Many people do not think a fall is worth mentioning but it could signal a bigger issue, a vision problem or even a drug side effect and your doctor will definitely want to know. If you feel unsteady or worry about falling, your doctor can help you uncover the root of the problem and develop strategies to keep you safe and help you feel more secure.
In addition to chats with your health professional, there are steps that can be taken at home to make your home safer and reduce the risk of falls. Some helpful tips include the following:
Reduce clutter. Maintain clear walking paths between furniture and remove stacks of newspapers and magazines that could cause you to trip or fall.
Make sure there is adequate lighting. Use night lights or motion sensor lights to illuminate potential obstacles. Place an easy-to-reach light by the nightstand so that you can turn it on when you need to get up and move around in the middle of the night.
Install grab bars and handrails. Start with the bathroom and kitchen, where surfaces can be slippery. (Be sure grab bars are properly mounted and avoid those that use suction cups, as they may not support your weight during a fall.) Mount handrails on both sides of staircases.
Keep important items handy. Place frequently used kitchen items in accessible cabinets or on the counter. Avoid high or low cabinets that could upset your balance when you’re trying to access items. Most importantly, clean up spills as soon as they occur to avoid slips.
Remove throw rugs. Loose-lying rugs, especially those with tassels, are especially hazardous. Donate or recycle them.
Choose apparel wisely. Avoid loose clothing and slip-on shoes, which can get caught on objects and cause a fall. Ditch the high heels, too. They can be difficult to walk in and can contribute to falling.
For more information on falling and how to avoid the risks, please call at 770-664-4288 us or visit us at healthybrainnow.com to schedule your consultation.