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Piedmont Home Care News

Fall Prevention 101: Tips to Stay Safe and Healthy

woman exercising

Even for the most graceful of us, falling is a fact of life. It’s easy to trip up over a crack in the sidewalk or accidentally miss a step. But as we age, the affects of falling become more serious. If you’ve ever watched a toddler, you might be amazed at their resiliency. Toddlers fall an average of 15 to 20 times an hour, and they just hop right up and keep on moving. It probably doesn’t hurt that they’re so low to the ground so the impact isn’t as harsh, but also their bones are more flexible than adults, allowing them to bend rather than break in most instances.

Falling isn’t as easy for older adults. As we age, our ligaments and tendons shorten and lose flexibility, and bone density decreases. This means that a fall is more likely to lead to injury, such as bruises and broken bones. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to fall prevention tips and exercises that can help reduce the chance of injury.

The Importance of Exercise
Regular exercise is important to overall health in many ways, from improving blood pressure to lessening the effects of diabetes. Did you know it can also help avoid falls or reduce the risk of injury in the case of a fall? Exercise improves muscle strength which makes you stronger, and keeps joints, ligaments and tendons flexible so your body is better able to react from a trip and avoid falling. Yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi are good workouts to do to improve balance and stability. And weight-bearing exercise can slow bone loss, which could help avoid painful breaks.

Safety Tips for the Home
More than 60 percent of falls occur in the home. But with a few safety precautions, the risks can be mitigated.

  • Install handrails on stairwells. Make sure they’re safe and secure on the wall. And use them! Even when carrying things down the stairs, have one hand free to hold the rail.
  • Put grab bars near the toilet and in the shower.
  • Improve lighting – especially on stairways and in halls. Make sure it’s bright enough to see, have a light switch at both ends, and always turn the light on.
  • Inspect carpets. Pull up any rungs that are turned up on the edges and might cause a trip, and put no-slop strips under other carpets to keep them in place.

Fall Alert Systems
In the case a fall does happen, it’s important to be able to get help immediately. There are a variety of fall alert systems on the market that can drastically improve the safety of elderly people living alone. Whether it’s a pull-string by the toilet or a chain and alert button worn around the neck, it’s easy to call for help without having to try to get to a phone.

Aging in place is very important for a lot of people. That’s why we at Piedmont Home Care provide services to the community to help makes that wish a reality. Our team can stay with you or your loved ones, so you don’t have to worry about them falling, alone and hurt for hours before anyone can get there to help. Our caregivers can also help reduce fall risks in the home and encourage regular exercise.

Call today to see how the team at Piedmont Home Care can help improve the daily life of your loved ones with companionship and medical assistance.