As you age, your risk of falling increases. So, it’s important to take precautions if you’re living alone as your health and safety depend on it. There are many ways to start preventing falls, so let’s discuss some information that could help you avoid falling in your home:
Ensure Your Environment is Safe
One of the easiest ways to start preventing falls is by setting up a home that is safe and free of any hazards. That is, keep your home decluttered without anything on the ground that could cause a senseless fall.
It’s important to avoid having objects built up in hallways and other frequently traveled paths in your home. Moreover, don’t use throw rugs on the ground, as these are easy to trip on. Do whatever you can to set up a floor plan that’s functional and open—you don’t want anything that is easy to trip on.
Also, for safety reasons, make sure you have plenty of proper lighting in your home. At night, be sure there are nightlights and light sources that are easy for you to turn on. Possibly, even install automatic lights that switch on.
In terms of bathroom safety, be sure to make the room easy to navigate. It is common for people to fall in the tub or shower, so have handlebars installed in these areas to make leaving and entering the tub easier. Also, handles are great to install by the toilet, for help getting up and down.
What to Do in the Case of a Fall?
Sometimes, it’s impossible to avoid a fall, because accidents happen. You always need to prepare for the worst, so that you’re ready in case a fall does occur. It is smart to wear a Life Alert so that you can call for help in an emergency situation.
It’s also important that you carry around a cell phone as much as you can. That way, if you need to call your family members for assistance, you can easily access a phone at all times. Finally, be sure to talk to your loved ones before a fall occurs. Doing this can help you create a thorough and customized plan of what to do in case of an emergency.
How Can Physical Therapy Help People Living Alone?
We all know that physical therapy can help after a fall, but it’s incredibly useful in preventing falls, too. There are many things physical therapy can do for you:
Improving your balance is a smart way in preventing falls in the first place. That is, if you are in physical therapy working on your balance, there’s a lesser chance you’re going to lose your balance at home. Working with a physical therapist can improve your static and dynamic balance.
Static balance is your ability to be still and stand with an upright posture. While dynamic balance is your ability to stay upright while you’re doing a task or activity. Both of these things are important, especially if you live alone at home.
Improve Your Strength
A physical therapist can also help you improve your strength. It’s important to work on core strength and lower extremity strength if you want to prevent a fall. In physical therapy, you can do exercises to increase your strength.
It is hard to get up once you’ve fallen. You can simulate this experience in physical therapy by doing floor transfers. With a physical therapist, you can make a plan of what to do to get up after a fall.