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How to prevent a fall

Falls are one of the most serious health risks among seniors over the age of 65, affecting more people than stroke and heart attacks combined. There are, however, simple measures that can be employed to avoid these accidents from occurring:

1.Use bath mats with suction cups.

2. Use nonslip adhesive strips or a mat in shower or tub.

3. Have a lamp or light switch that you can easily reach without getting out of bed.

4. Use night-lights in the bedroom, bathroom and hallways.

5. Keep a flashlight handy.

6. Have light switches at both ends of stairs and halls. Install hand-rails on both sides of stairs.

7. Turn on the lights when you go into the house at night.

8. Add grab bars in shower, tub and toilet areas.  

9.Consider sitting on a bench or stool in the shower.

10. Consider using an elevated toilet seat.

11. Wear nonslip, low-heeled shoes or slippers that fit snugly. Don't walk around in stocking feet.

12. Remove all extraneous clutter in your house.

13. Keep telephone and electrical cords out of pathways.

14. Tack rugs and glue vinyl flooring so they lie flat. Remove or replace rugs or runners that tend to slip, or attach nonslip backing.

15. Ensure that carpets are firmly attached to the stairs.

16. Use helping devices, such as canes, when necessary.

17. Purchase a step stool with high and sturdy handrails. Repair or discard wobbly step stools. Do not stand on a chair to reach things. Store frequently used objects where you can reach them easily.

18. Paint the edges of outdoor steps and any steps that are especially narrow or are higher or lower than the rest.

19. Paint outside stairs with a mixture of sand and paint for better traction. Keep outdoor walkways clear and well lit.

20. Keep snow and ice off entrances and sidewalks.

21. Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Some drugs, including over-the-counter drugs, can make you drowsy, dizzy and unsteady.