The risk of falls increases as we age. Annual statistic reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) show that the majority of falls occur for those aged 75 and greater. The increase of falls is due to many reasons including medication side effects, reduced or compromised ambulation, loss of balance, and may be contributed to by improper use of home medical equipment.
Review these fall reduction ideas to decrease your risk:
- Install grab bars in areas near shower/tub and toilet.
- Consider use of a shower chair to make the process safer when feeling unsteady.
- Rearrange closets, drawers and cabinets to prevent unnecessary movement when obtaining a towel, washcloth, toilet paper, soap, briefs, etc.
- Consider purchase of a bedside commode for use at night preventing ambulation to and from the bathroom; reducing the distance traveled will reduce the risk of falls. Consider clothing modifications for easier dressing. When button closures or zippers on pants are difficult to fasten due to arthritis consider dressing with elastic waist pants instead.
- Proper shoe wear is of the utmost importance. Affix gripper pads on the bottom of the soles of favorite shoes or invest in shoes that have a safer grip or tread.
- If medical equipment is in use power cords should not be in the middle of the common pathway. Be aware of the placement in order to reduce trip/fall risks.
Watch The Joint Commission’s video "Speak Up: Reduce your risk of falling" for more helpful advice.
Learning how to do things a little differently and making some small adjustments to the environment may help to reduce or even eliminate the risk of falls.