Fall Prevention Tips from Reformed Church Home
It’s only natural that as we age, we may begin to lose some coordination and motor skills. This may lead to stumbles or falls that can cause sprains and strains, skin lacerations, or worse yet major injuries such as broken bones requiring surgery to replace damaged joints. Reformed Church Home has compiled a list of key safety precautions, tips, and strategies to help you or an elderly family member prevent potential falls and live more safely in your home.
Monitor medication side effects
With so many medications on the market today, it can be hard to keep track of what each one does. But it’s essential to know the potential side effects a medication can have, as many drugs can cause sleepiness, dizziness, and other conditions that make it easier to fall. If you’re going to take a medication that causes drowsiness, you should be prepared to rest for a while after taking it or have someone nearby to assist. When starting a new drug for the first time, have a friend or family member close by in case you experience a side effect you find hard to manage. You should also learn or ask your pharmacist about how your medications interact with other substances. If the label says not to take with alcohol, certain foods, or other specific medications, be sure to follow the directions. By heeding warnings on the label, you will be better prepared to appropriately time your medication schedule.
Hazard-proof your home
If you’re worried about falling, a great first step is to remove clutter in your home, especially along the floors, in hallways, and in the bedroom area. Many falls occur at night when walking in a dark room so be extra careful or use a night light to help guide your way in the middle of the night. In addition, take the time to cushion sharp edges along counters and doorways. Installing a ramp or stair lift might be best for navigating the stairs more safely. The point of hazard-proofing your home is to target the things that could trip you up (pun intended!) and remove them.
As you age, it’s important that you take care of your body. To keep your muscles strong, you should do a few exercises and stretches each day, but also be mindful of your exercise limits and never go beyond them. The key focus here is to stay limber and give yourself the strength to avoid falling. If you stay relatively fit by doing exercises you like, you gain more control over those accidental falls. Whether it’s getting in the pool or at-home exercises, physical activity will truly help you stay safe.
To help avoid falls around the house, it may be appropriate to use assistive devices, as there are many unique and helpful types of equipment that can make your life easier and safer. Handrails in the shower, near the toilet, or in the kitchen can provide solid support to avoid slips and falls. Another great idea is to add non-slip treads to the floors and outside areas. This added traction may reduce the chance of falling.
The National Council on Aging has a terrific Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults that gives many more useful tips. You can read or download it here.
At Reformed Church Home, we are happy to provide useful suggestions to help older adults stay safe in their homes. When the time comes that home is no longer the safest option and you are looking for senior care, please call or visit us and consider our Assisted Living or Nursing Care communities to care for you or your loved ones. We also offer a highly-rated, state of the art rehabilitation program for those times when trips and falls cause a major injury needing inpatient physical therapy. In fact, we are a preferred partner with Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health for sub-acute rehabilitation care. We are truly here to help older adults age with dignity and achieve their maximum potential.
For more information on Reformed Church Home, call (723) 607-9230 today!