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Forever Young Information

Canada's Adult Lifestyle Publication

You got through spring, now can you get by a fall

By Cecil Scaglione
Health, Mobility Photo
July 08, 2015 - 0 comments

 

If you're a senior, whether you consider yourself one or not, it's highly likely you're going to fall soon.

A compilation of facts and figures indicates about one out of every three senior citizens will fall this year. So if you make it through this year, the odds are you'll trip, tumble, stumble or slip next year or the year after. The same scenario applies to your elderly spouse.

It'll probably happen at home. That's where nearly half of fall-related injuries occur that require hospitalization. You can work at beating the odds by looking around the house and making a few alterations.

Get a grip

Installing handrails alongside stairs and in your shower as well as grab bars around the bathtub and toilet should get your immediate attention.

While you're at it, make your shower and bathtub non-slip. You can use non-slip mats or lay self-adhesive non-slip strips available at most hardware or home-improvement stores.

And toss out those comfortable slides and slippers. Wear shoes that fit. It may feel comfortable to walk around the house in thick soft socks, but to do so is to invite disaster of you have those eye-appealing but slippery hardwood, parquet or tiled floors.

Sole security

Shop around for a pair of rubber-soled soft shoes or slippers that fit. Or look for some non-slips socks that have rubberized material on their soles that ward off slippage.

Now that you have proper footwear, pick up the clutter – those cushions lying around the sofa, magazines piled near the chair with the reading lamp, throw rugs leading into your bathroom and the front doorway, and potted plants nestled near the kitchen entrance.

Tidy up those curtain cords and electrical cords winding willy-nilly around furniture and the floor.

Shed some light

Increase lighting in stairwells and hallways where necessary. That may be as simple as installing brighter light bulbs or it could require calling an electrician to have a light socket and switch installed.

Look around your yard for problems: lawnmowers and boxes of stuff sprouting from the floor in the garage, patio furniture blocking pathways to doors and gates, and loose toys and balls the grandkids may have left lying around.

An old friend recently passed along an anti-falling tip he received from is doctor.

"Don't do anything quickly," he was told. That means stopping a moment before heading down stairs or climbing onto your bicycle or getting out of bed.

Keep in mind that, in a multitude of elderly-fall cases, it's not the injury that kills the victim. It's the pneumonia and other breathing complications that develop when they're confined to a hospital bed for any length of time.

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