Fall Prevention for People With Disabilities and Older Adults
Falls are the most frequent cause of injury and accidental death in for people over the 65 years old. New or foreign surroundings, improper footwear, cumbersome furniture arrangements, and distractions all can cause an accidental stumble and fall, causing a serious injury or even death.
However, using these prevention practices can decrease the chances an unnecessary fall.
What can I do to prevent falling?
- Do not walk and talk at the same time. Focus on the task of walking and continue the conversation after you’ve arrived at your destination.
- Wear appropriate footwear. When walking long distances or in unfamiliar areas, wear flat, nonslip shoes. Also wear snug, comfortable shoes.
- Arrange furniture so that it creates plenty of room to walk freely. If you use a walking aid, ensure that doorways and hallways are wide enough to easily pass through with any devices you may use.
- Install railings in hallways for stability and grab bars in the bathroom and shower to prevent slipping.
- Make sure there is sufficient lighting throughout your home.
- Install nonslip strips or a rubber mat on the floor of the tub or shower.
- Remove throw rugs or secure them firmly to the floor.
- Use caution when carrying items while walking.
- Use a nightlight before getting out of bed at night.
- Stay active to maintain overall strength and stamina.
- Know your limits. If there is a task you can’t easily complete, do not risk a fall by attempting to do it.
Need more information?
If you would like to consult an Occupational Therapist about making your home safer, practitioners are available through most hospitals, community clinics, and medical centers.
Occupational Therapists and occupational therapy assistants are trained in helping both adults and children with a broad range of physical, developmental, and psychological conditions. Practitioners also assist clients with wellness techniques that may help prevent injury and disease.