Help Prevent Falling – Part II

Marla’s Musings Continuedused with permission from Andelcare

“Four Simple Steps to Prevent Falling, by Shannon O’Brien, Guide)

#2  Increase Your Home’s Accessibility and Safety to Reduce Falling Risks

About half of all falls happen at home. To increase accessibility and make your home safer:

  • Remove items you might trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Keep items you use often within easy reach, so you can avoid using a ladder or step stool.
  • Have grab bars installed next to your toilet, and install grab bars in your tub or shower.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you’ll need brighter lights to see well. Use lamp shades or frosted bulbs to reduce glare.
  • Make sure all stairways have handrails and sufficient lighting. • If you are a senior or have a disability, it’s best to wear shoes that give good support and have thin non-slip soles. You might also consider avoiding lightweight slippers (especially backless styles) or athletic shoes with deep treads, which can reduce your feeling of control.

#3  Prevent Falling: Watch Out for Medication Side Effects

  • Age can affect the way some medications work in your body, so if you have been taking any over-the-counter medications for awhile, it’s important to tell your health care provider. He or she will be able to tell you if the over-the-counter medications are still safe for you to take.
  • Look out for drugs–or combinations of drugs–that have side effects including drowsiness or disorientation. These side effects can increase your risk of falling. This is especially important with over-the-counter cold and flu medications, which can often increase drowsiness.
  • And don’t forget herbal remedies. Some remedies increase sleepiness and many react with other types of medication, which could increase your risk of falling down. Be sure to check with your health care provider before trying new medication, especially if you are already taking prescription drugs. And ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of side effects you might expect when taking them.

#4 Want to Prevent Falling? Have Your Vision Checked Regularly

        Vision problems can increase your chances of falling.

  • You may be wearing the wrong glasses, or have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that causes vision problems or limits your vision.
  • To reduce your risk of falling, have your vision checked by an eye doctor every year for early detection and correction of vision problems. If you can’t see something, it’s harder to avoid it, and this increases your risk of falling.”

 “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”  James Baldwin