Stairs can be a major reason for falls and injuries but there are few things we can do to reduce the risk.
Banisters – They are a must. If stairs lack them, it’s time to visit a home improvement store or call a contractor or handyman. Make sure the banisters are not lose and if they are, get them adjusted.
Light – It’s good to have enough light around stairs. One wrong or missed step can cause senior to fall and get injured.
Carpet – Stairs can become slippery as they age. Consider low pile carpet runner or wear socks with grip on the bottom to enhance traction.
• Consider adding deadbolts on exterior doors so that they cannot be easily broken into.
• Replace hollow or glass doors with wood or metal door as they are not an easier entry point to the house.
• Make sure the front door has a peep hole in it so seniors can look who is at the door before opening.
• Install motion sensors around the main door so when the door opens, light automatically comes on reducing chances of fall due to tripping in the dark for seniors. It also helps as a deterrent from potential criminals.
OTHER CONTRIBUTING FACTORS
As we get older, there are other factors which can contribute towards our risk for falling. Still the fear of falling should not dictate our lives. There are some simple fall prevention strategies in such cases.
1. Medications – When you visit your doctor for your next appointment, create a list of prescription and non-prescription medication that you may be taking. Ask him/her to review the list and let you know about any medication which could make you more susceptible for falls.
Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medication (medicines that may be making you tired or alter your thinking).
2. Talk to your doctor if you feel more prone to falling, feeling weak or lethargic. Also if you have had a fall in the past, discuss with your doctor about the time it happened and when it occurred so he/she can talk with you about fall prevention tips and strategies in your situation.
3. Wear comfortable shoes. They should be fitted properly and have a non-skid sole. Loose shoes and heels can make one easily slip and fall.
4. Get a yearly eye exam. If the senior wears glasses, make sure it is according to the current prescription by the eye doctor.