Falling Leaves and Falling Down

Falling Leaves and Falling Down

Anyone else turn on their heat already? It's getting cold!

Don't get me wrong, there are few things better than Fall. Wrapped in a blanket, chill nipping at the nose, bringing a hot beverage to your lips, enjoying the warmth that settles all around your body — this time of year has its moments for sure.

Then the leaves start to change. Losing their usual green, folding into shades of yellows, oranges, reds, and browns, they show us the beauty of the season. We hold fast to this time, because we all know that soon, the leaves will be gone, falling, gently and gingerly to the Earth. Falling leaves are the best!

If Only People Could Fall Like That

Humans fall. It doesn't matter their age, their gender, their race — they're all at risk for falling, causing serious damage. The real question is, regardless of age, how do you prevent them?

This information is really important for a variety of reasons. For one, you yourself have likely fallen at some point. Whereas in your youth, falls are easier to recover from, there are incidents where a child can break a bone, or even a young adult in her 20s could develop a back problem or worse — head trauma — from falling.

But there's a bigger reason, too. There are likely older adults in each of our lives that have to deal with the reality that a fall stands to permanently change their lives for the worse.

As such, we all need to do our part in learning the basics of fall prevention. So just what should we all know off the bat?

Fall Prevention Strategies

Do a fall risk assessment.

This is pretty simple to do. Check out the person's home, and look for red flags. Some such red flags include:

  • Slippery surfaces that have less traction (like a bathroom or kitchen)
  • Obstructions and clutter that can trip someone
  • Lighting conditions in both day and night
  • Outdoor pathways that are frequently used, in both day and night

Fix Things You Find in The Assessment.

Slippery Surfaces

These are easy to fix with a non-slip mat. This will help to ensure that whether you or your loved ones are getting out of the shower, doing the dishes, or just passing through, the likelihood of a fall drops quite a bit.

Clearing Out Obstructions and Clutter in a Care Setting

You need to look around and see if there is anything on the floor like tennis shoes, papers, wires, or anything else of that nature. We all know the pain of a random Lego in the carpet. If that pain hits someone in the right way, it alone can cause a fall. Make sure that any walking areas of a home aren't also a trip hazard.

Lighting Inside and Out

This is mainly for the night time, but some rooms can be dark as well. Make sure that all dark areas of your home have some sort of night light that will illuminate hallways and walking paths through any living areas.

But don't forget outside! Sometimes, it's necessary to leave the house at night, and in those conditions, a clearly lit walkway is essential to reduce the risk of a fall to you, your loved ones, or anyone who visits.

Add a Grab Bar and Railing

Using the toilet, taking a shower, and walking down hallways and stairs are the most common ways that older adults fall. And with the structure of toilets and showers alone, these are usually pretty severe falls. Something so simple as adding grab bars inside the shower and next to the toilet can significantly reduce this outcome. Furthermore, adding railing in the hallways can help to ensure anyone can get around supported.

These are just some basic tidbits. If you would like to know more about Fall prevention (and even become a Fall Prevention teacher as well!), checkout FallPROOF today!

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