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10 Steps to Reduce the Risk of Falling

Judie Rappaport
July 24, 2014

Dear Judie, 

 

Mom (84) still climbs ladders, refuses to give up her scatter rugs or turn her 3-way bulbs to full power. She says, "I'm not made of money; I like my rugs and it's bright enough for me." 

- Eileen, Stuart

 

Dear Judie, 

 

Last week, Mom (86) decided it was time to replace Virgil (deceased cat) with a new feline menace, Rupert. She refuses to believe the cat will cause her to fall and she'll lose her independence. 

- Tim, Vero

 

Dear Readers, 

 

Every 18 seconds, a senior is treated in an emergency department for a fall. Research shows pets can cause falls, but also improve quality of life. These 10 suggestions can help improve your loved one's vision, strength, and balance to reduce the risk of falls: 

 

  1. Exercise is important to reduce your risk of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your risk of falls. With your physician’s approval, consider walking, senior strength training, and Tai Chi for balance.
  2. Remove papers, books, clothes and shoes from the floors and pathways in your home. 
  3. Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep rugs from slipping. Discard rugs with edges that curl up instead of laying flat. 
  4. Stay off stools and ladders. Rearrange kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, and bedroom closets, cupboards, and chests so that the items you regularly use are within easy reach. 
  5. Improve lighting to reduce deceptive shadows; wear shoes with good support and non-slip soles. Add night-lights throughout the house to help you avoid bumping into objects if you get out of bed during the night.  
  6. Add grab bars and non-slip mats to your shower, tub and toilet areas. 
  7. Have an eye exam for conditions that limit vision (glaucoma, cataracts) and update your prescription for glasses. 
  8. Ask your physician to review your prescription and over-the-counter medications for combinations that may make you dizzy or lightheaded. 
  9. See your physician for a complete checkup with particular attention to conditions that cause dizziness. 
  10. Reduce alcohol consumption to avoid stumbles, dizziness and reduced balance. 

 

 

Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©

 
 

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