Falls are a painful setback and often land people in the ER with broken bones. The more common fall fractures seen in the older adult is the hip and wrists. Depending on the break, a fracture of the wrist will at least need surgery and a cast. A facture of the hip will require surgery, rehab, a walker and weeks of recovery. With the cooler weather and holiday season approaching that is the last thing you want on your list. Removing environmental risk factors around your home is a great start to avoiding terrible injury from a fall. Often factures in patients involve things like slips in the bathroom, a trip on an uneven surface, a jumble with a loose rug, or an object that was not seen in a poorly lit area.
Get your family involved and together review the following to help avoid a fall at home:
- Remove throw rugs.
- Keep floors free of clutter.
- Move cords so that they stay out of any walking area.
- Provide adequate lighting and add nightlights to dark areas.
- Stairs or bathrooms should have handrails and grab bars.
- Have a no-slip surface in the bathtub and shower.
- Avoid having low seated chairs that are difficult to stand up from.
- Trim sidewalks and fill in cracks or smooth any uneven concrete.
In addition, take your own survey of your home and surroundings and if you see something that seems like it has the potential to create a fall and remove or repair it.