Pre­vent­ing falls

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SENIOR -

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

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