Home Arthriving IdeasPreventing Slips and Falls
Preventing Slips and Falls
January 9, 2012
Falls can be frightening for anyone and can result in serious injury. Tripping and falling can be especially upsetting and painful for those who live with arthritis or have back problems. So, how can you prevent stumbles, slips, trips, and falls? Here are some tips that may be of assistance.
- Clear out the clutter. Keep steps, ledges, hallways, and walkways free of clutter so that you don't have anything extra to trip over.
- Secure loose rugs. Also, if there is a bulge in your carpeting, fix it or have someone repair it for you. Make sure you are especially careful around area rugs and throw rugs.
- Use care when moving around furniture or other objects. Watch where you are going at all times, and maneuver with caution.
- Install banisters and railings to hold on to when going up and down steps.
- Go down the stairs sideways or at an angle instead of straight on. It may be easier and you get more of your foot on the step.
- Do not use chairs to reach things in high cupboards. Use a sturdy step stool or have someone help you. Do not risk pulling your back or falling.
- Use special non-skid rugs on kitchen and bathroom floors. Put non-slip rubber mats in the bathtub or shower. Also, consider installing grab bars in your bathroom. Towel racks and shower curtain rods are not meant to hold your weight, and using these as grab bars could be dangerous and even cause injury.
- Always wipe up spills and puddles immediately to avoid slipping. Also, you should keep your driveway and sidewalks salted in the winter if you live in an icy or snowy area. If you can't do this, ask someone for assistance.
- Practice yoga, ballet, Tai Chi, or Pilates. These are exercises that can help strengthen the core and improve balance.
- Walk slowly and mindfully with good posture. Also, avoid wearing high heels or backless shoes/slippers. You may also want to wear rubber-soled shoes or socks with grips.
- Pay attention when walking from room to room. It sounds simple, but it could be the main thing that you can do to prevent a fall. Watch out for phone cords and electrical cords. Consider switching from dim lighting to bright lights so that you can always see where you are going.
What To Do If You Do Fall:
- Stay put and ask for help. Trying to get up immediately and move around, especially on your own, could be dangerous and could result in further injury. If someone is home with you, call them immediately for help. If you are at your place of employment, always notify your employer.
- Learn how to properly get up after a fall. You can ask your doctor or physical therapist for a "cheat sheet" or some helpful tips tailored to your particular physical condition. Getting up improperly could worsen the injury.
- Consider subscribing to a home security or personal care service in case you fall or have other emergencies while home alone.
- And most importantly, don't panic.
Just remember, a fall should be taken seriously because it could cause injury to the back, neck, or limbs. If it happens, make sure you take the proper precautions in making sure that it's treated the right way, right away. Have you ever had a serious fall? How did you recover? Please leave a comment and share your story.
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