Tips for Preventing Falls

This article from July-August 2014 Vol. 10 Issue 6 Visiting Angels HomeTimes newsletter

As we all know, seniors have a tremendous fear of falling. The fear is justified, knowing that falls lead to more serious illnesses than the injury from the fall itself. For example, while in the hospital for a fractured hip, an elderly person may begin to show signs of infection, or even pneumonia.

Any efforts that we can offer our senior population towards the prevention of falls will be a step in the right direction. As caregivers, we want to help keep our seniors safe.

Below is a list of tips to help prevent such falls:

  1. Remove all throw rugs.
  2. Make sure all carpeting is securely fastened to the floor, and has no wrinkles.
  3. Make sure all electrical and telephone cords are safely out of the way.
  4. Install hand rails in bathrooms for the toilet and the bath/shower.
  5. Use non-skid pads in the shower or tub.
  6. Use a shower seat and/or pull-down shower head to reduce the need to stand in the shower.
  7. Try having the senior sit when shaving or brushing their teeth at the bathroom sink.
  8. Use caution when walking from one type of flooring to another, for example from carpeting to polished floors.
  9. When getting up from a lying position, hesitate in the sitting position for a few moments before moving to the standing position.
  10. Arrange items in the kitchen cabinets so that frequently used items are up front.
  11. Consider using a counter top toaster instead of a convention oven (to avoid bending).
  12. Make sure stairs are well lit and clutter free.
  13. If the stairs are difficult to light up, make sure that the edges of each step are covered in bright colored tape or paint.
  14. Make certain that all stairs have strong hand rails.
  15. Use night lights in the bedrooms and bathrooms, or any room the senior might enter when dark.
  16. Have the senior sit in furniture that is firm, high, and has armrests. This will make it easier for the senior to get in and out of the chair.

Using common sense is the key to protecting our seniors from falls. If the above tips are used regularly, many accidents with our senior population can be avoided.

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