You can help your older loved ones prevent falls.
You’ve probably fallen down many times in your life and may have gotten some bruises and scrapes, maybe even a broken bone. Did you know that falls can be much more serious for older adults? Some older adults may have to go to the hospital or a nursing home because of a fall. Plus, they may need more help doing things they used to do for themselves because they got hurt or are afraid of falling.
The good news is that falls are not a normal part of aging. Most falls can be prevented – and you can help! Ohio has a program called STEADY U Ohio, which teaches Ohioans of all ages how to prevent falls. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov and help them look around their homes to find things that could cause them to fall. Some things to look for include:
Rugs – Rugs that slip or bunch up when you step on them can cause you to trip and fall.
Clutter – Papers, bags, cords, boxes or any other items in or near walkways should be put away in a cabinet or closet, or thrown away.
Lights – Older adults need more light to see well. Ask them to add lamps to dark rooms and put night lights along walkways.
Stairs – Is there a sturdy hand rail to help them climb up and down the steps? Is there enough light? Keep the stairway clean and clear of obstacles.
Kitchen – Suggest they move things they use all the time, like pots and pans and spices, to middle shelves so they can reach them without bending or stretching.
Bathroom – Most accidents happen in the bathroom. Look for a non-slip mat in the shower or bath tub and a rug that does not slip or bunch up. Suggest they have “grab bar” handles installed to help them get in and out of the tub and on and off the toilet.
Activity – Exercise is important to prevent falls. Offer to take a walk, ride bikes, swim or play games like catch, tennis and tag with them to help them stay active.