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Network Health Blog

Falls Present a Serious Risk and Can Be Avoided

person gripping railing so as not to fall down the stairs

Preventing Fall Risk at Home

By Tara Dontje, quality care coordinator at Network Health
Originally published on 10/27/2020 at 9:45 a.m.

As we get older, falls become a more significant risk and can have serious health complications should they occur. For this reason, focusing on minimizing the risk of falling is an important key to staying safe.

One of the best reasons to focus on prevention is most falls that occur, even the most serious ones, are preventable. Here are some simple steps to reduce the risk of falling.

Speak up

Talk openly with your personal doctor about fall risks and prevention. Tell them if you have fallen or if you are afraid you might fall. Bring all your prescription and over-the-counter medications with you to each visit for review. Your doctor can review potential side effects and ensure the medication combination would not affect your balance or motor skills.

Keep moving

Begin a regular exercise program. Exercise is a very important way to reduce the risk of falling and will keep your muscles strong. Activities that strengthen your legs and help your balance are the most beneficial to prevent falls and keep you independent longer. Have a discussion with your personal doctor to decide what exercise program is best for you.

>>> READ MORE: Myths About Fall Risk <<<

Check your eyes

Have your vision checked once a year and update your prescription glasses as needed. Eyesight is a huge part of balance and vision problems can lead to both internal and external hazards when moving around your house. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.

Perform a home safety check

Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook. Most of these hazards are also easy to fix.

Perform the following checks to minimize the amount of potential tripping and falling hazards in your home.

  • Keeps objects (like papers, books, clothes, shoes, etc.) off stairs and places where you walk, to avoid tripping.
  • Remove throw rugs or use tape to secure them from slipping.
  • Place a lamp close to the bed where it is easy to reach.
  • Place grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Place a non-slip rubber mat in the tub or shower.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. Ensure bright lighting in all areas and stairways.
  • Fix loose handrails or put in new ones that extend the entire length of the stairs.
  • Wear shoes with non-slip treads both inside and outside the house.

Falls can be serious and prevention is key

Simply thinking about spaces in your home in terms of what obstacles or potential hazards may lead to falls may help you think about space differently. By applying a critical eye to your space and your routines, you have a great chance at avoiding potentially dangerous falls.

For more information on how your Network Health plan can help with prevention and treatment, reach out to us today.

>>> CONTACT US <<<

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