One out of three seniors will fall this year, but fewer than half of them will talk with their doctors about it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falls are also the number one cause of injuries in seniors, resulting in hip fractures, cuts, and even serious head and brain injuries that can be fatal. And even when there’s no serious injury, a fall can still be so frightening that seniors may avoid certain activities because they’re afraid they’ll fall again. Here are a few tips and mobility aids that will enhance your life and make everyday tasks easier.
How to Prevent Falls at Home
Store Items Methodically
Anything that you’re likely to use often should be within easy reach in your cupboards, cabinets, and shelves. For items that are more difficult to retrieve, use a grabbing tool (reacher) or a stool with handles to give yourself extra support. To avoid straining your body, never store large or heavy objects in high or low areas. Instead, keep them on waist-level shelves, so you can easily pick them up.
Make your bedroom easily accessible.
When using a cane or a walker/rollator make sure the pathway to and from your bedroom is clear. Furniture, storage containers, clothes and other items can get in the way and cause your cane or walker to catch and make you fall.
Use Helpful Furnishings
If you have dining chairs that roll on the kitchen floor, swap them for stationary ones that won’t move when you sit or stand. You should also make sure they have arms to help you in and out of the seat.
Since water spills on the floor are common around the sink, keep a non-skid rug or mat in front of it. You can also place these accessories throughout your kitchen to combat the flooring’s general slipperiness.
Take up the rugs
Carpeting and limited mobility don’t go well together. The best temporary solution for throw rugs is to roll them up and move them out of the way to prevent tripping. At the very least, make sure there is non-slip mat underneath a rug and that the rug lies flat, with no edges or corners sticking up. Use tape, if necessary, to keep them down.
Place a grab bar on the wall or a standing assistant where you typically sit to help you pull yourself up. Keep other mobility aids nearby, like a cane, so you can have the support you need once you’re standing. You should also equip your kitchen with motion-sensitive lights to make it easy for you to see where you’re going at night, preventing accidental trips and falls.
If you want more tips on how to make your everyday life easier, visit us at Dauterman Healthcare & Mobility in Honolulu, HI. We’ve provided Oahu’s kupuna with reliable products to enhance their lives for over 40 years. View our mobility aids for daily living online, or call (808) 591-8860 to ask about our current inventory.