Home Safety Fall Prevention Tips from Southwest Michigan Experts

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Home Safety Fall Prevention Checklist

One bad fall can mean a lengthy hospital stay, painful rehabilitation, a loss of independent life, or worse. The good news is that there are things you can learn to reduce the risk of falling, either for yourself or someone else.

  • Make sure that you have good lighting in your home. As your eyes age, less light reaches the back of the eyes.
  • Fasten rugs firmly to the floor or use non-skid backing. Tack down loose ends.
  • Remove electrical cords from the floor in walking areas.
  • Put handrails in your bathroom  for bath and toilet use.
  • Use bath mats or non-slip decals in tubs/showers. Have rails on both sides of stairs for support. 
  • Wipe up spills quickly.
  • Make sure items are within easy reach. Do not store things too high or too low. Then you will not have to use a stepladder or stool to stand on.
  • Remove clutter from stairs, walkways and floors. Be sure stairs are well lit.
  • Stay a healthy weight to reduce the risk for falls.
  • Drink six to eight glasses of water each day. Dehydration (not drinking enough liquids) may lead to dizziness.  
  • Eat calcium-rich foods - milk, cheese, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans, peas and canned salmon. Calcium strengthens bones. A lack of calcium may lead to your bones becoming brittle. 
  • See your eye doctor once a year. Cataracts and other eye diseases can cause you to fall as they can affect your vision.
  • Take good care of your feet. If you have pain in your feet, or if you have large thick nails and corns, you should have your doctor look at your feet.
  • Talk with your doctor about any side effects you may have with your medications. Problems caused by the side effects from medication are a common cause of falls. The more medicines you take, the more risk of having side effects from them, which raises your risk of falling.
  • See your doctor if you have dizzy spells. If you feel dizzy or feel lightheaded, sit down or stay seated until your head clears. Or, call someone to help you stand up slowly to avoid unsteadiness.
  • Use a cane or a walker if needed. This will give you extra stability when walking and will help you avoid a bad fall.
  • Don’t let the “fear of falling” cause you to restrict your walking or other activities, which in turn can increase your risk of falling. Talk with your Bronson at Home nurse about your concerns and to learn more about the Lifeline Emergency Activation system.
  • Sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes before standing up. Your blood pressure may take some time to adjust when you sit up.
  • Keep a phone near your bed or chair. Do not hurry to answer the phone. They will call back!

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