Thursday 24th September is Fall Prevention Day. Over half of all falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety. However, many falls that happen around the house are preventable. To raise awareness of this we have put together a list of 6 steps to prevent a fall.
STEP 1 – Find a good balance and exercise program
While it’s not possible to completely prevent a fall, exercises that focus on balance and strength training can reduce the risk of falling. Always talk to your doctor or physical therapist first before starting new exercises, especially if you have weak balance.
STEP 2 – Talk to your health care provider
It is important to ask for an assessment of your risk of failing. If you have a history of recent falls, or find yourself loosing your balance, don’t hesitate and speak to your health care provider.
STEP 3 – Regularly review your medications
Of course, only ever take medications as prescribes, but make sure potentially side effects are not increasing your risk of falling. Regularly speak to your doctor or pharmacist to keep reviewing your medications.
STEP 4 – Get your vision and hearing checked annually
Vision provides you with a sense of where you are in relation to your environment and gives you clues that keep you from tripping over obstacles. Hearing loss makes people less aware of their environment, so they don’t notice other people, pets or activities going on around them.
STEP 5 – Keep your home safe by removing tripping hazards
Clear clutter from your floors or stairs and arrange your furniture to give you plenty of room to walk freely. You can also improve your lighting and remove loose mats and rugs to reduce the risk of tripping accidentally.
STEP 6 – Talk to your family members
Being active will help you feel better and stay independent. However, if you know you are at risk of falling, make sure you make your family or close friends aware – they may think of ways to stay safe that you haven’t thought of. Two minds are always better that one!
There is more information available on the NHS website on avoiding falls at home – read more here