Keep your home safe with these tips for preventing falls.
Most falls are preventable. However, each year millions of Americans are injured as result of falls with 20 to 30 percent suffering moderate to severe injuries such head traumas, hip fractures, or lacerations. The risk of falls increases in with age and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three adults over age 65 will suffer a fall this year.
Since June is National Safety Month, now is a perfect time to examine your risk for falls and make the necessary changes in your home. Consider these improvements recommended by the National Safety Council:
- Clean it up. If you spill something, clean it up immediately. Additionally, repair crumbled walkways and buckled floor boards as soon as possible.
- De-clutter and organize. Remove hazards from the floor. Secure any cords to make sure they are not in a traffic areas.
- Use the right equipment. Avoid disaster by using sturdy step-stools and ladders. Never stand on a chair or table when trying to reach something up high. Also, install handrails in stairwells, and use non-skid rugs in the kitchen and bathroom.
- Design a smart space. A big sofa may be comfortable; however, if it is too small for the space, inadequate walking paths can lead to falls. Make sure there is enough room between furniture for a safe, clear walking path.
- Let there be light. Don't let dim areas lead to an accident. Whether it is a hallway or outdoor walkway, make sure the area is well lit.
Environmental changes are not the only methods of fall prevention. You can further protect yourself through physical activity and knowledge of medication side-effects.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is now offering a series of classes entitled A Matter of Balance, which are designed to help you manage concerns about falls and teach you how physical activity can help. Classes begin May 29 and occur two times a week for a duration of four weeks. Seating is limited and reservations are required. For more information or to make a reservation call 1-877-4-HCA-DOCS (1-877-442-2362).