Fall prevention tips offered

The Butler County Department on Aging is aware that fall prevention is up to you.  Many things can be done to help prevent the risk of a fall and potential injuries.
To decrease the risk of a fall, the Shawnee Mission Medical Center in Johnson County has provided this helpful list of pointers:
- Use prescribed assistive devices (a walker or a cane) for walking.
- Do not carry items if you use an assistive device to walk. Use a tray or bag attached to a walker, or push a cart.
- Try not to shuffle. Instead, pick up your feet when walking.
- Never put objects on or near a stairway.
- Have rooms and hallways brightly lit. At night, use night lights.
- Remove or secure throw rugs and extension cords in your pathways.
- Wear comfortable shoes without heels.
- Clear out furniture and clutter to make wide walkways.
- Keep frequently used items within easy reach.
- Use a reacher or stable step-stool to access difficult-to-reach high items. Never stand on a chair or box to reach something.
- Watch for changes in your balance if you begin a new medication.
- Take your time when getting in and out of the shower; use grab bars or a shower chair if needed. Have someone stand by for safety as you enter and leave the bath or shower.
- Install non-skid strips or mats on your shower or bathtub floor.
- Keep active! Do your exercises!
- Keep a phone within arms’ reach or carry it with you.
- Have a contact person that you talk with daily. Instruct the contact person that, if you don’t call, he or she should go to your home to check on your well-being.   
Other suggestions:
- Always turn on a light before you walk into a dark room
- Remove throw rugs that slide
- Secure carpet edges with double-sided tape.
- Use the highest watt bulb allowed in you fixture.
- Get rid of furniture that is difficult to rise from and swivel chairs.
- Do NOT wax floors.  Wipe up spills immediately.
- Make sure all stairs are well lit.
- Mark stair edges with non-skid contrasting strips or paint.
- Keep a light on in the bathroom at night.
- Replace towel racks with grab bars.
- Buy only sturdy shoes with low heels.
- Adjust hems of clothing so they are not too long.
- Ask your physician if any meds could cause you to fall.
- Talk to your eye doctor about your vision and prescription lenses.
- The major causes of falls are shoes that are not sturdy and bifocals that are not “blended”.
A fitness class or Tai Chi class to exercise your sense of balance and to stay fit is also recommended.
Contact the Butler County Department on Aging for more information by calling either   775-0500 or 1-800-279-3655.

 The Butler County Department on Aging provides 25 exercise classes for your health improvement. 
Contact the Butler County Department on Aging for more information by calling either   775-0500 or 1-800-279-3655.