Studies show that one out of three seniors will fall this year, but not even half of them will discuss it with their doctors. Falls are also the primary cause of injuries in seniors, often resulting in cuts, hip fractures, and head injuries that can be fatal.
In observance of Falls Prevention Month, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares his top tips for preventing falls at home:
1. Clear the clutter. The simplest way to prevent falls is to keep your home tidy. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old magazines and newspapers in particular from staircases and hallways.
2. Fix, remove, or replace tripping risks. Examine each hallway and room, looking for items like wood floorboards that stick up, loose carpet, or slippery throw rugs. Then, remove, replace, or repair those items.
3. Install handrails and grab bags. These types of safety devices are essential for daily tasks such as: getting on and off the toilet, stepping in and out of the bathtub, and going up and down stairs safely and without injury.
4. Don’t wear clothing that is too loose. Sure, you want to feel comfortable when you’re at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make you more likely to fall. Wear properly hemmed clothing that doesn’t drag on the ground or bunch up.
5. Light it properly. To create a home suitable for seniors, install brighter light bulbs in places where needed, such as narrow hallways and stairways. Also, add nightlights in bathrooms and bedrooms for better control at night.
6. Wear shoes. Preventing falls in your home is as easy as wearing shoes. If shoes are too uncomfortable, you can also purchase nonslip socks.
7. Make it nonslip. Floors in kitchens and bathrooms and showers and bathtubs can become particularly dangerous when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, install nonslip mats.
8. Move carefully. Many people fall by moving too quickly from a standing to a sitting position or vice versa. Preventing falls like this is as easy as taking your time and pausing when needed.
If you fall and injure your lower extremities or need more tips to prevent falls in your home, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, to schedule a consultation. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.