Some more content from the ebook I’m working on.
Make Your Home Safer
At least one-third of all reported falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home. It is very useful to conduct a walk-through of your home, both inside and out, to identify problems that may lead to falling.
repair cracks and abrupt edges of sidewalks and driveways.
trim shrubbery along the pathway to the home.
keep walk area clear of clutter, rocks, tools, and kid’s toys.
install adequate lighting by doorways and along walkways leading to doors.
All Living Spaces
use a change in color to denote changes in surface types or levels. I have a piece of blue painter’s tape on my white tile where there is a step, and it has helped tremendously.
Have grab bars installed next to shower or tub and toilet.
Use non-slip masts in the tub and on shower floors.
Improve the lighting in your home. Hang light-weight shades or curtains to reduce glare.
avoid using floor polish or wax.
Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping. Make sure any extension cords are out of traffic routes. This is REALLY important. I’ve had a couple of clients trip over cords or rugs. Unfortunately, one of the women passed away within two weeks after breaking a hip and then getting pneumonia.
Remove things you can trip over (like shoes, books, clothes, etc.) from stairs and other walkways.
Use a nightlight or a flashlight when getting up to use the restroom at night.
Know where your pet is before stepping. This includes looking behind you when at the kitchen counter. I’ve had a client fall over a pet (behind her) and break an ankle.
R-organize your pantry and cabinets so that you can easily reach the items you use frequently, without having to use a steps tool or over-reach for them.
Wear good, supportive shoes outside the house. Wear flat bottomed shoes or the socks with the grips on the bottom for inside the house. Please avoid slippers, because they are true to their name; they slip!
Learn how to pick up objects correctly; do not over-reach. I will cover this last topic more in-depth in the chapter on exercise, but picking objects up the correct way is of utmost importance.*
A recent study in an assisted living home used surveillance cameras to watch the residents. To the authors surprise, most (55%) of falls during that month where the result of residents underestimating the distance and reaching too far for something. In the exercise chapter, I will give you a couple of strategies to prevent over-reaching.