How Elderly can Avoid Falls--The Fall Prevention Checklist
Did you know that 40% of all hospital admissions for the elderly are fall related? The following list has been created from hands-on experience.
- Turn on lights before entering a room.
- Use night-lights in the bedroom, and hallways.
- Have beds and chairs near lamps or light switches.
- Install grab bars in showers, tubs, and toilet areas.
- Use bath mats with suction cups or nonslip rubber backs.
- Use shower chair in tub or shower.
- Use an elevated toilet seat if necessary.
- Use skid-resistant throw rugs.
Floors, Walkways, Stairways
- Securely tack carpets to the floor.
- Avoid throw rugs.
- Avoid highly polished floors.
- Keep walkways free of telephone and electrical cords.
- Install handrails on both sides of stairs.
- Clearly mark stairs and uneven flooring with glow-in-the-dark tape.
- Remove clutter from stairs, walkways and floors.
- Immediately clean up spills.
Other Safety Tips
- Have eyes checked every year
- Review medications with your nurse, doctor, or pharmacist.
- Some drugs, including over-the-counter drugs can make you drowsy, dizzy, and unsteady. (Taking 4 or more prescription medications significanly increase your chance of falls.)
- If you feel dizzy or light –headed, sit down or stay seated until your head clears or call someone to help you. Stand up slowly to avoid unsteadiness.
- Use cane, walker, or walking stick as recommended.
- Wear nonslip shoes or slippers with rough soles.
- Avoid clothes that are too big and can become tangled including nightgowns.
- Keep phone near bed or chairs.
- Don’t hurry to answer the phone. They will call back.
- Talk to your nurse or physician about an emergency activation system in your home.
Hazards Frequently Found in the Home
- Slippery floors
- Poor lighting
- Electrical cords in walkways
- Loose rugs
- Uneven thresholds
This list was compiled by certified physical therapists and nurses who provide in-home healthcare and hospice services for with the elderly on a daily basis. First Choice Home Health and Hospice has been providing healthcare and hospice in Utah homes for over 18 years. For more information, go to www.fchhh.com. If you have questions about Home Health or Hospice Services in Utah, please call (801) 434-4100.