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Don’t Fall for it!

Nobody likes to wipe out, right? MHP Occupational Therapist Aimee Wagner, OTD, knows a thing or two about preventing falls. Good thing too, as they are costly and can leave you struggling to perform daily tasks for an extended period of time, something no one wants to hear!

While falls can be scary, there are many small changes you can make to help prevent them. In fact, most falls happen inside or near the home, so start there! Here are some ways to make your home safer for both you and your visitors:

  • Tripping Hazards: Make sure rugs, floorboards, trim, cords and anything else that someone may be stepping on or over is secured. Pick up those boxes that you’ve been meaning to put away to get them out of the walkway, what better reason to get organized?
     
  • Install Handrails: If the shower has you feeling nervous, install a grab bar for better stability. Making sure handrails are secure on walls and installed where necessary is equally important.
     
  • Lighting, check!: Believe it or not, stumbling around in the dark doesn’t do you any good. Your stubbed toes and banged up knees could attest to that, right? Make sure your path is properly lighted so you don’t trip over anything on the floor such a laundry or shoes.
     
  • Clear the walkway: Does winter leave your sidewalks and steps slick? If you’re in Iowa, that’s almost a guarantee. Keep sand and ice melt on hand, or find a helpful neighbor to clear those slippery spots for you. Again, make sure proper lighting is in use to see those slick spots; you wouldn’t want a visitor to miss that patch of ice on the way up your stairs!
     
  • Dress for success: Or at least to keep from falling! Non-skid shoes and socks with skid-resistant bottoms are great ways to reduce your fall risk.
     
  • If you need it, use it: If you’re not comfortable on your own two feet, there’s nothing wrong with asking for a little assistance! Whether you need supports or a cane, MHP Physical and Occupational Therapy can help find what works best for you.

When it comes to falls, no matter your age, it’s never fun. Not only can they be costly, they don’t feel good either! Help reduce the risk of anyone falling in your home by following these recommendations. For even more tips and tricks for avoiding trips, attend MHP Physical and Occupational Therapy’s Free Fall Prevention Workshop on Thursday, Oct. 26 from 3 – 5 pm. This workshop will take approximately one hour to complete and will cover fall risk factors as well as how to prevent falls both in and out of the home. While the event is free, pre-registration is required. Call 641.672.3306 for more information or to register today.

Published Sep 20, 2017

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