Fall Prevention

 

Statistics find FALLS are the leading cause of injury related hospital stays among older adults. 30% of adults over 65 and 50%  of adults over the age of 80, fall at least one per year. Educate yourself with this handy chart from the Injury Prevention Centre If you have fallen once, you are more likely to fall again, resulting in injuries including sprains, soft tissue, head or spinal cord trauma.  Those with osteoporosis have a higher risk of bone fractures which leads to reduced mobility, and muscle loss, compounding the problem of decline in your overall well being. Are you at risk for falls? Take this Fall Risk Self Assessment and see where you stand.

 

Canadian winters are no help either, slippery surfaces and uneven ground add to the struggle. What's a person to do?  Maintaining your overall health is number one, but physical exercise is easy, cheap and simply the best way to prevent falls.  It is critically important to increase your muscle tone and keep those muscles limber.  There are a variety of exercises out there no matter what level you're at physically.   Falling is serious business but awareness leads to prevention, here's our handy lists of fall prevention tips.

 FALL PREVENTION - HEALTH 

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Exercise is your best friend. Take a balance orientated class designed for older adults such as one offered by The Mad Tasker or obtain training education in home. There are strategies for all physical levels to reduce your risk of falls.

Check your Medication discuss with your physician any medications that may cause dizziness, or slower reflexes and take extra precautions when necessary. (such as moving slower, holding onto rails or assistive devices)

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Get your Vision Checked reduced vision increases your risk for falls.  Remember to maintain your health with proper sleep, dietary protein, hydration, calcium & adequate Vitamin D too.

Get your Feet Checked foot problems and associated pain can create balance issues increasing falls.  Our foot care specialist can treat and prevent underlying foot problems that can lead to fall risk and more serious health problems.

 FALL PREVENTION - HOME 

  1. Remove trip hazards; ESPECIALLY throw rugs.

  2. Change out door handles to the lever style for ease of use.

  3. Add slip proof threads to stairs and tubs or any slippery surface.

  4. Wear good supportive indoor shoes with non skid soles.  Be sure they won't slip off your feet.

  5. Use handrails (on both sides of the stairs). If you don't have them, get them installed BEFORE an accident can occur.  Our handyman can install and tighten/repair existing handrails, ramps, grab bars etc.

  6. When using stairs; ensure both of your feet are fully placed on each riser (make sure the back of your foot is not hanging off the edge of the step) and hold on firmly to handrails before moving to the next riser.

  7. Increase lightening; this is an easy economical way to lessen your fall risk.  We can even install multi functional light bulbs that have fall alerts built right into them. Notifying your emergency contact automatically. Don't forget to install motion sensor nightlights.

  8. For those with vision impairment adding contrast helps with depth perception.

  9. Remove all tripping hazards. During the Holiday Season or family gatherings be vigilant, looking out for potential trip hazards. Gifts, visiting relatives, shoes, pets and such, can create obstacles for safe walking.

  10. Alberta Government provides funding alternatives through the  SHARP  home modifications program for more substantial changes. 

Most falls can be avoided by taking steps to reduce risk.  Slow down, especially when out & about so you are aware of your surrounding. Review this link for strategies on how to get up safely if you fall.

What do I do if I fall?

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The Mad Tasker provides services, from handyman to screened professional contractors for more involved home adaptations.  Call Us to help you get started.

 FALL PREVENTION - OUTDOORS 

  1. Make sure you have the right gear AND USE THEM! Assistive devices may not be how you see yourself, but the view is far better than a hospital bed. Be certain to get proper training from an OT on how to use them. How to use assistive devices may seem obvious but statistics show those who receive training on how to use them have a lower percentage of falls.

  2. Shoes with excellent support and good treads for better gripping. Women especially want to look fashionable but the pain, and suffering that come with loss of mobility just to wear those pretty shoes, is not worth it.  There are several nice looking shoes for winter with good treads available now a days.

  3. Canes fitted with proper grips for ice or other assistive devices such as walkers add an additional source of balance and stability on slippery and uneven surfaces.

  4. Keep steps, walkways and driveways free from ice and snow.  Keep them salted to prevent ice build up or hire a snow removal service if necessary.

  5. Install outdoor treads on your exterior steps, if you can afford them there are heated treads.    https://www.costco.ca/heated-mats.html

  6. If you don't already know this "Walk like a Penguin" check out this helpful video to show you how.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHaWGibGwyk

Request your FREE Assessment to discuss your Personalized options & receive 1 hour of Complimentary Service.

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