FROM THE PARISH NURSE . . . 10 Ways to Avoid Falls

  1. Get Moving   Regular exercise is a great way to improve your balance and flexibility. It also helps your bones get stronger and denser. That will lower the chance that you’ll fall and break one. Choose gentle activities like yoga or Tai chi and swimming and easy stretches are good, too. Lift weights to help with your strength.  <!–split–>
  2. Turn on the Lights   Make sure your home is well-lit so you don’t trip  in the dark. Put in ceiling lights or add switches so lamps can be turned on as you walk into the room. Double-check that your path from the bedroom to the bathroom has enough light, and use night lights throughout your house.
  3.  Wear the Right Shoes   Get ones that give you good support to help keep you on your feet. Choose low heels with rubber soles, not leather. Wear them even when you’re home. Don’t walk around in socks, backless shoes, or loose slippers – – especially on bare floors.
  4. Do a Bathroom Makeover   Install grab bars next to toilets, tubs, and showers. Attach non-skid strips to tile floors to make them less slick. Water makes things slippery, so put a non-skid bathmat on your tub or shower floor. For extra security, use a chair when you’re in the shower. Get a toilet safety frame or raised seat to make it easier to get back on your feet.
  5. Make Your Steps Safer   Be sure stairways in your home are well-lit. Install handrails on both sides so you’ve always got one in reach. If your stairs are slippery, add non-skid tread.
  6. Keep Rugs From Sliding   Replace them with non-skid ones, or add non-slip tape or pads under them. Make sure your wall-to-wall carpets are securely tacked to the floor, especially on steps.
  7. Clear the Clutter  The less stuff you’ve got lying around, the safer it is to get around your house. Keep cords and phone lines tucked out of the way, especially where you walk. Use wireless devices when you can. Also, don’t put magazines, plants, or other items in the middle of the room.
  8. Be Smart With Storage   Keep items you use a lot where they’re easy to reach. Don’t stash them on shelves that are too high or too low. If something is out of your reach, though, you can use a “grabbing” tool to help you get it.
  9. Watch Where You Sit and Sleep  Use higher chairs that are easier to sit down on and get out of. Or add a cushion to a lower one. Make sure they have armrests, which give you support when you stand up. If your bed is very high or low, swap the mattress with one that’s a better height.
  10. Get Your Hearing and Eyes Checked   If you don’t hear or see well, it can throw off your balance. Use hearing aids if you need them. And make sure your glasses or contacts are up to date. Try not to wear bifocals when you go up and down stairs, because it can make you feel dizzy.

Your Parish Nurse, Kara