Elim­i­nat­ing the risks of falls in your own home

Central Otago Mirror - - AGEING GRACEFULLY -

As you age, the risk of fall­ing or in­jur­ing your­self in your own home in­creases. The rea­sons for this can vary but are usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with in­sta­bil­ity due to im­paired gen­eral health, weak­ness, lack of bal­ance, im­paired vi­sion, men­tal health and de­fi­cien­cies in your diet. Pre­scrip­tion med­i­ca­tion, although a less com­mon cause, is also a fac­tor in falls. Un­for­tu­nately, one fall caus­ing in­jury can pave the way for more falls, so it’s im­por­tant to make your home as safe as pos­si­ble to en­sure you never fall in the first place. If you live in a two-sto­ried home, it’s im­por­tant to leave the stairs un­in­hib­ited, mak­ing sure items are not left ly­ing near the stair­case, or po­si­tioned near it. It’s also equally as im­por­tant to make sure the stairs are main­tained well. Dam­aged or worn car­pet should be re­paired or re­moved, and creaky steps should be checked to make sure they are not rot­ten or dam­aged. A sturdy hand rail should be in place for ex­tra sta­bil­ity, or con­sult a pro­fes­sional to dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of a chair lift up­stairs. And lastly, mak­ing sure all land­ings, stairs and hall­ways are lit well at all times of the day. If you live in a sin­gle lev­elled home, there are still many haz­ards which could re­sult in a bad fall. Any elec­tri­cal cords should be tightly against walls, away from door en­trances and se­cured to avoid trips. This is es­pe­cially true with larger items such as televisions and stereos which could fall on the un­sus­pect­ing. Any un­car­peted ar­eas such as wood, pol­ished con­crete or tiles should be walked on with care, mak­ing sure there are no wet patches. Bath­rooms are a huge haz­ard, and are one of the ma­jor ar­eas for ac­ci­dents to hap­pen. Hav­ing non-slip mats by the shower and in the shower could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween show­er­ing suc­cess­fully and end­ing up se­ri­ously in­jured. Hand rails or a spe­cially made shower seat are a wel­come ad­di­tion in any home. If you are un­able to shower with­out dan­ger, make sure some­one is around to en­sure you man­age – this may mean hir­ing a care­giver and/or hav­ing a fam­ily mem­ber close by. It may seem an un­nec­es­sary pre­cau­tion to re­move haz­ards in your own home – af­ter-all, it’s your liv­ing area there­fore you know it in­side out. But fail­ing health, grow­ing old and night time toi­let stops can be dan­ger­ous, there­fore it’s im­por­tant to age grace­fully – elim­i­nat­ing and avoid­ing the dan­gers in your home.

Ad­ver­tis­ing Fea­ture

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