Falls Prevention Week is September 20-24, 2021
This is a time to remind our seniors and their families to check out their fall risk and put a plan in place to prevent falls. So often, falls can be prevented with a little planning.
What can you do? Take notice of the environment around you or your loved one.
- Are all walkways clear?
- Are loose rugs in the path?
- Are cords crossing over the path?
- How is the lighting? Do you need to replace lightbulbs or add lamps?
- Is the sidewalk safe to get to the car?
- Are they tripping over a beloved pet?
- How is the lighting to get to the car or mailbox?
Next, consider whether you need to make safety adjustments in certain areas. Consider:
- Do they need handrails in the bathroom now?
- Does there need to be a rail along outdoor walkways or entrances to the home?
- Do they need a ramp instead of steps now?
- Do they need to stay downstairs instead of upstairs? Maybe they need to move to a lower floor.
Look at health issues or recent behavioral changes if you notice an increase in falls/stumbling or if it's a new behavior.
- Have they had a medication change?
- Are they taking medications properly?
- Do you see other changes?
- Do they need to go in for a check up with their PCP or specialist?
- When's the last time their vision was checked?
Although we are talking about Fall Prevention, Planning is also of importance.
- Consider talking with the local fire department to help you with a safe escape plan in case of a fire or other emergency.
- Go see a Physical Therapist if you or your loved one needs balance training, gait training or strength training to help keep them mobile and independent.
- Consider a call to local EMS companies to get quotes for an emergency button in case of a fall when alone.
- Make sure if you or your loved one is using assistive devices such as canes and walkers, that they you see a Physical Therapist to help determine their safety while using and to make proper adjustments if needed.
Consider your clothing and style. We all want to look nice and be trendy, but.....
- Does your clothing fit properly? ie sleeves or pants too long?
- Are your shoes the correct size and fit?
- Do your shoes easily come off or trip you?
- Is your hair in your face?
- Does your jewelry hang too long and catch on things?
- Are your fingernails and toenails an appropriate length and smooth so you can grip,walk,and wear shoes properly and safely?
While this list is in no way comprehensive, it should help get you and your loved one on the right track for preventing falls! Don't forget that the consequences of falling far outweigh any inconvience that these safety measures may cause!
Call us if you need to see a Physical Therapist in Gonzales, Louisiana in Ascension Parish at 225.644.0290. And check out the link below for Fall Myths. Test your knowledge!
10 Myths About Older Adults and Falls (ncoa.org)
Trust your team here at Excel Rehabilitation Services! We've got you!