As much as we don’t like to think about it, let alone talk about it, we need to accept the unsettling statistic that 1 in every 4 Americans ages 65 and older fall every year (National Council on Aging). Falls equate to injuries, so fall prevention is a means of keeping you healthy and safe. Here are some steps to fall-proof your home. 75 percent of falls take place inside or in close proximity to the home (Everyday Health).
- Front Door: Consider installing a railing; it will provide balance while you’re carrying a bag up the steps or unlocking the door.
- Kitchen: Many of us like a mat or rug on the floor, near the sink and/or stove, but be sure it is a rubber-backed rug that will stay in place. Rugs create a substantial risk for tripping and falling.
- Stairs: Ensure you have a railing on both sides. It is also helpful to have strips of contrasting color to help you visualize your stairs more accurately. Adding colored tape to the edges of each step will help you differentiate each step, reducing your risk of a misstep.
- All Around the Home: Try your best to remove clutter. A stack of newspapers, a pair of shoes, bags, etc. that are left on the floor all pose risks for a potential fall. Keeping your floors and hallways clear makes it much safer to move about.
In addition to fall-proofing your home, there are other things you can do to reduce your risk of falling, such as improving your strength and balance. There are a variety of balance classes and programs designed to improve your core strength, which would greatly reduce your risk of falling. Wesley Willows offers a vast array of fitness classes designed to meet any level, such as Strength, Tone, and Mightier Bone, Sit and Be Fit, Move It or Lose It Balance, Tai Chi, Yoga, and many more. Too see the full schedule go to http://188.8.131.52/~wesleywillows/calendar/. Making a lifestyle change that incorporates fitness will benefit you in other ways, leading to a healthier and happier you.