Wednesday Workshop – Reducing Your Loved One’s Risk for Falls
Hello and welcome to Wednesday Workshop. Every hour, there are two deaths and 251 emergency room visits that can be attributed to falls, most of which occur inside or immediately outside of the home. With staggering numbers like this, it’s worth asking:
What can you do to reduce falls in your home?
• Make sure that you have good lighting in the home. A well lit home will help your loved one avoid tripping over objects that are not easy to see. Put night lights in the bedroom, hallways, stairs and bathrooms.
• Rugs should be firmly fastened to the floor or have nonskid backing. Loose ends should be tacked down.
• Electrical cords should not be lying on the floor in walking areas.
• Put hand rails in the bathroom for bath, shower and toilet use.
• Have rails on both sides of the stairs for support.
• In the kitchen, make sure items are within easy reach. Don’t store things too high or too low. Then you won’t have to use a stepladder or a stool to reach them.
• Have your loved one wear shoes with firm nonskid soles. Avoid buying loose-fitting slippers that could cause them to trip.
• See your eye doctor once a year. Cataracts and other eye diseases that cause your loved one not to see well, can lead to falls.
• Talk to your loved one’s doctor if they have dizzy spells.
• If your loved one’s doctor suggests that he/she use a cane or a walker to help them walk, be sure your loved one uses it! This will give them the extra stability when walking and will help avoid falls.
• Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks per day.
When you get out of bed in the morning or at night to use the bathroom, sit on the side of the bed for a few minutes before standing up. Your blood pressure takes some time to adjust when you sit up. It may be too low if you get up quickly. This can make you dizzy, and you might lose your balance and fall.
Another great way to reduce your risk of falling is to stay active. Exercise can improve your strength, cardiac fitness, balance and reaction times. There are exercise programs designed to fit every level of fitness, from walking programs to gym classes or chair aerobics.
Making home modifications and staying active are good ways to prevent falls.
It is important to discuss any concerns with your doctor. And make sure you have a way to call for help if you do fall. Hopefully you will never need it, but it is always a good idea to have a plan. To speak with us here at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center, feel free to call us at (877) 760-9199. Thanks for watching today’s Wednesday Workshop and we’ll see you again next week!