Falls are among the most common injuries we treat at the Parkview Trauma Centers. That’s why we developed an awareness campaign called Know Falls.
The first step in avoiding falls is being aware that your physical condition, footwear and potential hazards in your surroundings can all be factors that contribute to falls. Here are some safety tips to help you address those possible issues so you, and the people you love, can avoid falls.
1. Arrange time to see the physician
Prepare a list of your medications for your physician to review. Medications can cause dizziness or affect perception.
If you’ve fallen before, explain to the physician the details of your fall, including when, where and the cause.
Be aware that certain eye and ear disorders create dizziness, which increases your risk of falling.
2. Stay active
With your doctor’s approval, consider activities such as aquatics, walking or Tai Chi to build strength and balance.
Reduce your stress with Tai Chi exercises that involve calming movements.
By avoiding physical activity that includes walking or exercising, you may increase your risk of an injury from a fall.
3. Choose proper footwear
Have your feet measured every time you buy shoes, because the size of your feet changes over time.
Buy sturdy shoes with nonskid soles.
Purchase lace-up shoes for walking, instead of thick-soled shoes, slip-ons or flip-flops, all of which increase your risk of tripping.
4. Avoid home hazards
Clear walkways in high-traffic areas.
Secure loose rugs with double-sided tape or a slip-resistant backing. In the tub and shower, use a nonslip mat.
Clean liquid spills immediately.
5. Light up your home
Place nightlights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways for better visibility.
Place a lamp within reach of your bed for middle-of-the-night needs.
Keep flashlights in easy-to-find locations in case of a power outage or an emergency.
6. Use assistive devices
Use handrails when walking up or down stairs.
Install a raised toilet seat, or add armrests for the toilet.
Purchase grab bars and/or a chair for the shower or tub.
Use a cane or walker if recommended by your doctor.
To learn more about preventing fall injuries, call (260) 373-7209.