November is known as Fall Prevention Month, so we thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to provide you with crucial information to reduce the risk of falling and injury at home. We are sure that you know someone who has fallen in their home, but have you ever wondered if it could have been prevented? We are here to share some preventative measures with you that will hopefully make a positive impact in your life.
Let’s begin with fall proofing your home and outdoors:
- Ensure lighting is adequate in all areas of the home where needed. For example, a staircase should be very well lit to avoid tripping.
- Lighting outdoors must be adequate as well on regularly used walkways, doorways, sheds, etc.
- Use nightlights! These little lights are super helpful at night and provide minimal light for an abundance of assistance when getting up at a late hour.
- Install handrails in areas such as washrooms (in bathtub/shower, next to toilet) and staircases.
- Remove rugs from living spaces. Rugs have a tendency to have upturned corners which cause many falls.
- Remove small clutter from high-traffic areas such as pet bowls, decorations on the floor, cords, etc.
- If you have carpeted stairs, ensure that it is secured to avoid slipping.
- Add non-slip bath mats into your shower/bathtub.
- Allow there to be established walkways within your home. If you need to rearrange furniture to accommodate, make sure you do so. Ask for help if needed.
- Clean up wet leaves outside on any used pathways.
- During the winter months, spread sand or salt on icy pathways. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Although fall proofing your home is very important, it is also critical that you take preventative measures by performing various strength and functional exercises to promote balance in the body:
- Holding onto the counter, perform calf raises. These can also be done while doing simple chores like washing dishes, brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.
- Leg lifts to the side of the body while holding onto a table.
- Wall sit/squats. Put your back against a wall without any picture frames or décor and hold a wall sit position (legs should make a 90o angle). This can also be performed as squats where you repeat this motion multiple times instead of holding it.
- Even exercises as simple as standing on one leg while doing dishes or brushing your teeth promote balance and strength.
The following graph displays the statistics of falls in Canada for individuals over the age of 65 from Government Canada:
LET’S MAKE SURE WE TAKE PART IN FALL PREVENTION THIS MONTH! It will certainly benefit your health and the health of your loved ones.