Thursday, February 28, 2019

2/19 Social Services Article: Easy Ways to Prevent Falls!


WCCOA's Social Services Department is here to begin a series of helpful monthly blog articles to help our aging population stay active, healthy and safe! Check in near the end of each month for information on new topics. As we come to the end of February, it's time to discuss:

EASY WAYS TO PREVENT FALLS

When you talk about home safety, most people think of security systems and smoke alarms but few think of fall safety. According to the National Council on Aging, 75% of falls among older adults occur in or near the home. Also tip-over accidents of furniture or appliances injure or kill about 29,000 people every year. And those age 66 and older make up a quarter of all ladder falls. Listed below are a few quick and simple suggestions to make your home a fall-hazard free zone.

LIGHT IT UP!
  • Use motion-activated night lights along routes you may travel at night.
  • Have overhead lights at the top and bottom of staircases and all exterior entryways.

CLEAR CLUTTER!
  • Get rid of tripping hazards like electrical cords, shoes, throw rugs, etc. Especially in hallways, stairs and the routes you use in the middle of the night to the bathroom. 
  • Keep pet toys and their bedding cleared from walkways.

CHECK FLOORS!
  • If you want an area rug, use rubber backed rugs or double stick tape to keep them in place.
  • For uneven flooring between rooms or flooring types, install transition strips.
  • Clean floors naturally with a mixture of 1 cup distilled white vinegar mixed into 3-4 gallons of warm water. This cleans without any slippery film.

SECURE IT!
  • Secure furniture, TV’s and appliances with furniture restraints or anchoring kits. Remember bookcases, dressers and wardrobes too. 

MAKE UPGRADES!
  • Use nonslip rubber mat in shower or tub.
  • Have grab bars around tubs and toilets installed by a professional.

CHECK STAIRS!
  • Replace or fix worn or broken steps.
  • Reinforce your stairs as needed.
  • Add a second handrail, one on each side. In this case TWO is better than one.