Monday, January 7, 2013

24 Ways to Prevent Falls

A recent article in the Wilmington, Delaware News Journal suggested the following ways to prevent falls.

 Be sure all carpets and area rugs have skid-proof backing or are tacked to the floor.

 Use non-skid mats or rugs on the floor near the stove and sink.

 Keep floors free of clutter.

 Remove all loose wires, cords and throw rugs.

 Do not use wax on bare floors.

 Have someone clean up spills as soon as possible.

 Keep stairwells well lit, with light switches at the top and bottom.

 Mark the top and bottom steps with bright tape.

 Install sturdy handrails on both sides of stairwell.

 Install grab bars on the bathroom walls beside the tub, shower and toilet.

 Use a non-skid rubber mat in the shower or tub.

 If you are unsteady on your feet, you may want to use a plastic chair with a back and non-skid legs in the shower or tub and use a hand-held shower head to bathe.

 Place light switches within reach of your bed and a night light between the bedroom and bathroom.

 Keep a flashlight with fresh batteries beside your bed.

 Cover porch steps with gritty, weatherproof paint.

 Install handrails on both sides of porch steps.

 Keep furniture in its usual place.

 Place items you use most often within easy reach. This keeps you from doing a lot of bending and stooping.

 Use assistive devices to help avoid strain or injury. For example, use a long-handled grasping device to pick up items without bending or reaching. Use a pushcart to move heavy or hot items from the stove or countertop to the table.

 If you must use a stepstool, use a sturdy one with a handrail and wide steps.

 If you live alone, you should consider wearing a personal emergency response system (PERS). Also, consider buying a portable telephone to take from room to room so you can call for help immediately if you fall.

 Don't get up too quickly after eating, sitting or lying flat.

 Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the side effects of drugs you take. Some can make you dizzy or drowsy.

 If you are unsteady on your feet, use a cane or walker, even if you are going only a short dis-tance.

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