5 tips to prevent falls:
1) Begin a regular exercise program. Exercises should focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and should get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good. Drive’s exercise peddler is hassle-free, and easy-to-use.
2) Have your doctor and pharmacist review your medications, both prescription and over-the counter, to identify those that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
3) Have your vision checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update eyeglasses to maximize vision. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
4) Make sure that canes and walkers have rubber tips, and if crutches are used, the bottoms should be cleaned regularly with an abrasive substance like steel wool to maintain traction and avoid slippage.
5) Download Drive’s “Home Safety Checklist” to evaluate your home environment and reduce fall risks:
- Remove falling hazards from stairs and places you walk. Remove/repair clutter, raised doorway thresholds, throw rugs, loose carpet or raised flooring, and furniture and electrical cords obstructing walkways.
- Install grab bars and hand rails where needed
- Improve the lighting in your home, particularly in stairways, hallways, porches, and outside walkways. If necessary, add extra light switches or remote switches (like those that go on or off with the clap of hands).
If a fall does occur at home, the following safety tips can help minimize injury:
- Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone.
- Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can’t get up.
- Consider wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can’t get up
*Special Dedication* Drive Medical’s Fall Prevention Resource Guide is dedicated to Ann B. Davis, the actress best known for playing Alice on The Brady Bunch TV series. Ms. Davis passed away during the writing of this document from a fall in her home that resulted in a fatal head injury. According to media accounts, Ms. Davis, age 88, was still active and in good health. We are saddened by her loss, and hope this guide helps others prevent similar losses.