CALLING ALL CHILDREN, ADULTS AND SENIORS CHECK FOR SAFETY
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov/injury reports that each year thousands of older Americans fall at home and many are seriously injured. The same is true, however, for any age, especially if you have balance issues related to splinting of a sprain or fracture, easily dis- tracted, not feeling well, or rushing to a project and misstep in the process. Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to over look but are easy to fix.
#1 LOOK AT THE FLOOR IN EACH ROOM. WHAT NEEDS MOVING OR PICKED UP? When you walk through a room, do you have to walk around furniture? Do you have throw rugs on the floor? Are there papers, books, towels, magazines or other objects scattered? For example: exten- sion, phone and lamp cords.
#2 LOOK AT THE STAIRS YOU USE BOTH INSIDE AND OUTSIDE YOUR HOME. Always keep objects off of the stairs. Are some steps broken or uneven? Are you missing a light over the stair- way? Best lighting is a light at both the top and bottom of the stairwell. Fix any loose handrails and remove any loose or torn carpet. Paint a contrasting color on the top edge of all steps.
#3 LOOK AT YOUR KITCHEN AND EATING AREA. Are the things you use often on high shelves? Is your step stool unsteady? If you must use a step stool get one with a bar to hold on to. Never use a chair as a step stool.
#4 LOOK AT ALL YOUR BATHROOMS. Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower. Have a carpenter put grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet. Also beware of poor lighting and water spills.
#5 LOOK AT THE BEDROOM. Is the light near the bed and is the path from your bed to the bath- room lighted and free of clothing and other items that might cause tripping? Use a nightlight.
#6 KEEP FIT. Exercise to improve balance and coordination. Wear shoes rather than slippers, get up slowly from sitting to standing especially if balance is compromised.
#7 KEEP EMERGENCY NUMBERS. Keep numbers near by a phone. The phone should be near the floor. Consider wearing an alarm device that can bring help.
For more tips please contact Marilyn Johnson, Parish Nurse 360-695-1221