September 20th marks the first day of National Falls Prevention Week, a nationwide effort to encourage older adults to take necessary precautions to prevent falls which are a leading cause of injury.
Here are some tips and tricks you can do in the comfort of your home to live each day with peace of mind.
Remove All Floor Hazards
The first step in fall prevention is removing any hazardous objects from your floors throughout each area of your home. Cords and wires for TVs, computers, phones, cooking appliances, etc. can be very easy to trip over. Make sure all cords and wires are safely secured away from any walking areas.
Throw rugs can also present a hazard, so be sure to remove any rugs that do not lay flat or tend to bunch up. Placing non-skid mats or carpets in their place is a convenient alternative so your floors are covered while still removing the danger of tripping.
Install Extra Support
Adding extra mobility support throughout the home is a valuable measure to ensure your safety. Starting in the bathroom, install a grab bar for extra balance in the shower and by the toilet. Slippery bathroom and shower floors are the most common causes of falls, so remember to place non-slip mats inside and outside of the shower.
The bathroom is not the only place extra support is crucial. Installing handrails on both sides of a staircase is another important precaution. When you use the stairs, be sure to hold onto at least one railing, even if it means taking multiple trips to carry things up or down. These home modifications will give you necessary extra support to maintain your independence.
Stay Active to Improve Balance
While improving your home and minimizing potential hazards are important, bettering your physical health is equally as crucial in avoiding falls. Stay active and work on maintaining your balance, flexibility, and coordination. If you can, complete a few balance exercises 1-2 times a week to boost overall health and become steadier on your feet.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some exercises from Philips Lifeline you can do at home to keep active: 14 Exercises for Seniors to Improve Strength and Balance
Integrate these tips and tricks in your own life to live safely with peace of mind. Happy National Falls Prevention week!