Falling is a frightening thing and is a major cause of injury, especially in the elderly. While balance exercises can help prevent falling, one of the simplest things you can do to help minimize the risk of falling is to make changes to your environment. Some things to do today include:
- Remove clutter, pick up papers or clothes from the ground and move garbage bins under cabinets.
- Keep areas well lighted.
- Be aware of your surroundings and know where your furniture is placed and where stairs are.
- Be aware of any pets that may be under foot.
- Clean up any spills.
- Be sure furniture is stable.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower floors.
- Install secure grab bars and handles in the bath and shower and near the toilet.
- Make sure that stairs inside and outside of the home have secure hand rails.
- Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape or slip-resistant backing. Removal of rugs that are prone to slippage may be necessary.
While not all falls can be prevented, maintaining a safe home environment can help minimize loss of balance and falling. Your physical therapist can also provide you with strategies to help improve strength and reaction time to help prevent falls.