Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Preventing Falls on The Stairs

The vast majority of stairway falls result from a loss of balance.  So why do we need to worry so much about falls on stairs?

Stairs of all types have been used since ancient times, and because they are inherently hazardous, people have been falling on them, getting hurt or even killed in the process.

The fact is that some incidents can be caused by inattention, unsafe behavior, and inappropriate footwear.

But the good news is you can take a few simple steps (pun intended) to make your stairway and home safer, and prevent falls in the process.

Limit Upstairs Use

If it is possible to arrange a house to avoid having to climb stairs, do so. A stair fall can easily cause severe injuries.

Check the Carpet

Make sure that there is no carpet that’s sticking up or ruffled. If carpeting starts to become loose in a stairwell, tack it down or reinstall it completely.

Inspect Handrails Often

Loose handrails are of no use to you because you cannot trust them to hold your weight when you push on them. Inspect hand rails to make sure that they do not easily move in your hands and repair them as soon as you notice something loose.

Go Slowly

It’s not a race. Going a little slower on the stairs has the potential to save your life.

Repair Walkways

Even a little crack can cause a big problem. If you go out often, hire someone to repair any damage to walkways.

Keep Walkways Clean

Arrange to have leaves, snow, and ice removed from stairs and walkways. Use salt or sand throughout the winter months. Kitty litter is especially effective.

Because stairway accidents can cause severe injury and even death, building codes for stairs and ramps are justifiably very rigorous. Good design can substantially reduce the potential for mis-stepping by providing the means to retrieve our balance, but even the best design cannot eliminate falling hazards entirely. The need for proper design also applies to ramps.

Learn more about preventing falls with an automatic fall detection medical alert system here, or search online with hashtag #NoFalls.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Preventing Falls In The Home - 7 Simple Steps

Following safety rules in the home is very important for fall prevention. 

Keeping things neat, clean, and tidy can prevent a lot of falls. Here are some things to think about if you have trouble getting around.

Remove All Throw Rugs

Those throw rugs can catch on your toes and cause falls. If you’re in the kitchen a lot, consider putting in textured linoleum or thin carpeting.

Clean Spills Immediately

“I’ll get to it later.” Unfortunately, those ‘later’ things cause hazards for those who are walking around. Immediate cleaning means you don’t have to pay attention to them anymore.

Keep Everything Closed

Murphy’s Law says that if there’s a possibility that you can bump into it, it will be bumped into. Closing cabinets, drawers, and doors when they’re in the way takes only a second.

Brighten The Dark Corners

In larger houses, there are plenty of dark corners which can cause trouble. Setting up lights where you need them will not only brighten up the house, but brighten up your life.

Keep Clothes Organized

Store clothing, bed coverings, and other household items where you can comfortably reach them.

Get Help if you need it

If you find that something is heavier than you can lift, get assistance or reduce the load as much as you can.

Our goal is to help you to create a safe environment at home. We feel like education is key - that's why we provide this free fall prevention guide, and lots of other good ideas about independent living on our "Thrive!" blog or search using hashtag #NoFalls.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Top 3 Reasons For Falls Among The Elderly

Most falls are not because someone trips over something. 

Instead, they are caused by some problem with the body or the mind. Medications, vision problems, and a weak body are the main contributors to falls. Here’s what you need to know.

Medication interactions 

Certain medication have side effects that can make it difficult to walk around. Drowsiness, dizziness, and nausea are just a few examples that can happen. These effects can cause a fall, especially if a new medication has been added into the mix.

Drug interactions can also cause these effects. This is one reason why your doctor always wants to know all medications and supplements you’re taking. A drug interaction can cause side effects far worse than a single drug.

Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about any drugs you’re taking, especially if you’re adding a new one. Take it easy the first few days to see how your body reacts to the drugs. Medical interactions should be closely monitored, and if there is an obvious bad reaction, the doctor should be immediately contacted.

Diminished vision 

Many people fall because they don’t have the depth perception or clarity of vision to know where an object is in the first place. Check your vision every single year and make sure that any prescriptions for glasses or contacts are up to date.

Another reason that people fall is that they forget that they still have on their reading glasses. Reading glasses magnify what’s in front of the reader, but they can cause problems when navigating.

Exercise levels 

Muscle mass decreases over time and this causes people to become weak. All people need to exercise. It can be enough just to stay active by regularly checking on the garden, walking out to the mailbox, or making a concerted effort to walk around the house. It has to be regular. Exercise makes people more flexible, stronger, and have more balance. A strong body can help prevent falls or make them less serious.

The amount of exercise you need may be much less than you think. If you’re exercise adverse, talk with your doctor to learn about how much you really need, and simple exercises you can do to keep your muscle mass and coordination.

Learn more about automatic fall detection medical alert systems here, or search online with hashtag #NoFalls.