Fall Prevention at Home

I have heard this story a many times in my career. A patient climbs up a questionable stool in the kitchen to reach for something, and they fall. Sometimes they end up in emerge with a broken wrist, shoulder, or even a hip. Usually after the healing they end up in front of a physiotherapist to help rehabilitate them. Hence the reason why it is so important to remind us with some fall prevention tips.

This message goes out to all those wonderful people who are teetering a top a chair to reach something in the kitchen or elsewhere for that matter.

Let’s talk about setting yourself up for success and less trips to the emergency room. Some reminders I am sure you have all read before but here they are again.

In the Kitchen

Please, please, please do not wobble on a chair or table to reach for something. You can purchase reachers/grabbers that can extend your reach and help pick up small objects. A small proper step stool with a hand rail could also work. Or even better ask for help reaching those less used items. Make sure your kitchen is arranged in a way that makes most used items easy to reach.

Stairs and Hallways

Please use the handrails and concentrate on the task at hand. If you have to carry something, keep it a small light item and still use the handrail.

  • Keep stairs and hallways clutter free so less tripping hazards.
  • Keep areas well lit. Good lighting will help you clearly see your way.

In the living room

Select furniture that a good height for you and makes it easy to get in and out of. Keep electrical cords tucked out of the way. Be mindful of area rugs, these are also a tripping hazard and not your therapists’ favorite friend. If you are like me and have a favorite throw rug that you cannot get rid of try some non-skid backing to create a flat edge.

Other General tips

Review your prescriptions with your doctor/pharmacist and attend your annual eye exams.
Keep your bones strong. A diet that also includes calcium, vitamin D is important for bone health.
Lastly, get your exercises done! Exercises that help improve balance, strength and walking can help. Your Physiotherapist or Occupational Therapist can help you develop a safe home and a plan for better balance and strength.

Please stop wobbling on table tops and chairs.

Michelle Tyler – Physiotherapist at Pillars of Wellness