Making small changes to your day-to-day life can make a huge difference to your health and well being. Here we share 7 tips to avoid having a fall at home:
1. Keep active
- You are more likely to fall at home if you have weak muscles and poor balance.
- A good way to make your muscles stronger and to improve your balance is to take regular exercise. Some good forms of physical exercise are walking, light gardening and keep-fit classes
- Wear flat shoes or shoes with thin soles or a built-in heel.
- Remember not to walk on slippery floors in socks or tights.
3. Keep an eye on your health
- Have your eyes tested regularly at least every two years. Eye tests are free to the over 60s.
- Do you need glasses for reading and for distance? If you do, it is best to have two separate pairs of glasses. Bifocals or vari-focals are not as safe
4. Make your home safer
- Try to keep your home warm. Cold muscles work less well and may lead to accidents and injuries from having a fall at home
- Fit a letterbox cage to save bending down
- Put 100 watt light bulbs in the kitchen and stairways so they are brightly lit
- Use long-life bulbs so you do not have to change them so often
- Paint the outer edge of steps with non-slip white paint
- Use non-slip mats under rugs, in the kitchen, on stair landings, and inside and next to the bath
- Have handrails by the toilet and bath and on the stairs
- Make carpets safer by repairing or removing any frayed edges
- If you have a pet, fit a brightly coloured collar, so that you can see it more easily and are less likely to trip over it.
5. Cut down the risks in your daily life
- Look into purchasing a riser recliner. Avoiding putting strain on your arms, hips and legs, riser recliners can lift you to your feet with ease.
- When you go to the toilet at night:
- Don’t use a torch if you need to go to the toilet in the night. Turn on a light. Alternatively motion sensor lights installed to your bed can pick up your movement and light your way.
- Hold on to something secure if you need to bend.
- When you get out of bed
- Getting out of bed, or getting up from a chair you have been sitting in for a long time, can be a problem. If you stand up too quickly, your blood pressure can drop suddenly. This can make you light-headed. Try to stand up in slow stages. When you get up from a chair, try to tense your arms and legs a few times first.
6. Keep steady
- Do you have to take more than four kinds of medicine? If you do, ask your doctor to check them regularly. Let your doctor know if your pills are making you feel dizzy.
- Don’t drink alcohol when you are on medicine. The mixture can make you dizzy and can cause you to lose your balance.
- Do you have arthritis in the spine or neck? If you do, move your head slowly as turning your head too quickly can make you feel dizzy.
- Ask your doctor if you can have a flu jab. Flu is an illness that can make you less steady on your feet.
- More telephone extensions around the home will stop you rushing to answer the phone. Cordless ones are particularly useful as you can leave the handsets in convenient places.
- Make sure there are no wires or other clutter on stairs or places where you walk.
- See if you can get someone else to change curtains or light bulbs for you.
- Store things you use a lot in places you can get to easily.
- Spread salty sand on wet or icy steps and mop up any spills at once.
- A personal fall alarm system can be a comfort to you and your family.
Find out more about the precautions you can take to avoid a fall at home by visiting www.laterlifetraining.co.uk