Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Let's Talk About Living Independently... Preventing Falls

Well the weather is starting to turn colder, and there’s always a chance of snow, or freezing rain. While the weather outdoors can make getting around a little more challenging, most accidents actually happen inside the home. This is the reasoning behind our theme for the November Home Health Care Flyer- “Fall Awareness and Prevention”.

Walsh’s has been committed to helping those who are able, to continue living independently, to remain in their community and homes, and also have the ability to get around- both in and outside of their home safely.

Anyone can fall, but the risk of doing so seems to get greater with age. Every year, 1 in 3 Canadian seniors will fall at least once. Nearly half of all injuries among seniors happen at home, particularly in areas where there is water present- bathrooms & kitchens. Stairs can also challenging areas for increased falling.

There are a number of factors which can increase the risk of falling:
·         Poor balance
·         Decreased muscle or bone strength
·         Reduced vision or hearing
·         Unsafe conditions in and around your home

You can prevent the incidence of falling by making adjustments to your home as well as changing your lifestyle habits- including things like ensuring you eat well, stay reasonably fit, and use whatever devices you might need to help keep you safe.

Walsh’s Health & Lifestyle Centre can help with the selection of devices and products which can improve safety conditions in your home. Minimizing risk of falling can be as simple as an in-home assessment, or simply visiting us to discuss your needs, and get help with device selection.

Here are some thoughts to help keep you safe from falls:

 In the Bathroom
·         Use a non-slip rubber bath for the tub and shower. Install the mat when the tub is dry;
·         Install grab-bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand;
·         Use a bath stool in the shower, and a raised toilet seat, if needed;
·         Wipe up any moisture or spills right away.
In the Kitchen:
·         Store kitchen supplies, pots and pans in easy-to-reach locations;
·         Store heavier items in lower cupboards to ease lifting;
·         Use a stable step stool with safety rail for reaching high places; consider a reacher-grabber to help reaching out-of-reach items;
·         Use jar openers to assist sealed containers.

In the Living Room/Bedroom
·         Consider using bed side rails to help getting in and out of bed, and also to prevent actually falling out of bed;
·         Ensure obstacles are removed to ensure safe movement throughout your home;
·         Install nightlights and improve general room lighting;
·         Consider an over-bed table, or a chair-assist table;
·         Eliminate any tripping hazards, like scatter mats; clutter and loose wires/cords or other obstacles.
Around Stairways
·         Ensure stairways are well lit, and railings are secure

Use devices that can help you keep safe and active. Consider using a Walker or Cane, making sure it the correct height and has a unworn rubber cane tip for safety. If outside walking on ice or packed snow, consider using shoe grippers, or an ice-cap for your cane.

If you need help, visit Walsh’s Health & Lifestyle Centre and ask one of our health care specialists for guidance in helping with device selection. Your visit could help make your life safer and easier. Our flyers, and in-store offerings, typically address many of those physical and personal care needs for those living independently at home. And remember…if we don’t have it, we can special order it for you.

Everyone, no matter what age group, or stage of life, wants to enjoy as comfortable and as safe, healthy and as active a lifestyle (as much as possible, anyway), as best they can. But, they don’t always know what assistive devices and/or services which might be available, and helpful to them.

Why not take the time during November; visit one of our 3 locations, and see what’s available to make life more comfortable, safer in your home. Ask one of our Health Care Specialists for assistance. We’re here for you…