Staying active and on the go is both enjoyable and important, but as we age the desire to stay active and independent can be somewhat shadowed by the risk and fear of a fall and subsequent injury.
However this need not be the case as there are many things one can do to help prevent a fall and remain active for as long as possible:
- Regular physical activity: such as Tai Chi can help you stay healthy and improve your strength and balance. Make sure not to overdo it—talk to your doctor for advice.
- Improving the lighting: around your home e.g. installing lights to brighten dark areas, passageways and stairs. Plug-in lights can be an inexpensive solution. Regular eye checks are important too.
- Rid your home of trip hazards: This may be as simple as tidying the clutter from your floor, or removing loose rugs, and rearranging the furniture so that access throughout the home is optimised. Also consider installing ramps to thresholds and other protruding lips around the home, and sturdy hand rails where there are steps.
- Managing wet areas: Where there is the potential to slip on wet surfaces e.g. in the bathroom, place non-slip matting, and for improved stability, install grab rails. This is more preferable than holding onto a tap, or your sliding shower door, or worse, the towel rail!
- Wear appropriate footwear: Slip-resistant soles with good tread and a broad base, or at least wear grip socks.
- Height adjustable chairs and stools: Getting in and out of a low lounge chair and on and off the toilet can be troublesome. Consider utilising a height adjustable shower chair, over toilet seat, or adjustable day chairs. Also consider acquiring a lounge chair that lifts you up to a standing position (lift recline chairs).
- Utilise a walking aid such as a cane or walker: There still seems to be a resistance amongst some to use a stick or walking aid, such as a wheelie walker. But the reality is they help many people walk further, maintain their independence, and can prevent a fall and hospitalisation, and let’s face it, what’s worse than wandering the corridor in a white gown with your derriere sticking out! More importantly a walking aid can help give you the balance and confidence you need to get out and enjoy physical activity and help prevent future falls.
There are many more solutions and products that can help reduce the potential of a fall. Whether it is in or outside the home – for further information and friendly advice, contact the team at Everyday Mobility.