BEFORE we get into the five ways, here are two essential things to keep in mind.
First: Falls are the biggest cause of disability in those mid-age and older. There’s a reason. The sense of balance weakens as people get older. However, most folks don’t know that regular balance training can reverse the effects of age.
Second: Don’t ignore slip hazards around the pool, in the garden and on your driveway when there has been a drenching thunderstorm. Here are five ways to lower the risk of falling
1. Think about previous bruises.
Is there an end table or other piece of furniture that you’ve bumped into more than twice? If so, either move it or get rid of it. There are people who actually ignore the fact that they bruise themselves on the corner of the same piece of furniture several times a year.
2. Put a traction layer on the slippery shoes.
Nearly everyone has a pair of shoes with a sole so slick that it’s caused – or nearly caused – a fall. But you wear them because you like those shoes, or because they cost a lot of money. No need to get rid of them. Instead, get a shoe-maker to glue a non-skid layer onto the sole and heel.
3. Put a traction layer on places prone to falls.
Bathroom tubs get slick if they aren’t scrubbed regularly; if you’re not a meticulous tub-scrubber, put down a non-skid mat. And don’t forget the trip hazard of some of these items in warm, dry weather.
4. If you use a cane or walking stick, get a crampon (pic).
A crampon goes over the rubber, or in place of the rubber tip. Every stick user should have one for wet weather. This also goes for people who are on crutches.
5. Get rid of throw rugs, runners and piles of stuff.
If you’ve ever tripped or stumbled over a wrinkle in a carpet runner or the edge of a throw rug or mat, or the throw rug caused a wobble because it slid – get rid of them. If you have anything that interferes with an easy traffic way from one room to another – a plant, a vacuum, a pile of papers – move them out of the line of traffic. — McClatchy-Tribune Information Services