Tips to prevent falls

Accidental falling or tripping is a common occurrence, and while it does not often result in serious injury in younger people, it can be quite debilitating as a person gets older. Our emergency transport provider, ER24, offers the following handy information and tips to prevent falls.

When extra caution is needed

  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, previous stroke, vascular disease, arthritis and numbness in hands or feet all increase the risk of falling. If you have one of these conditions, be especially careful.
  • Certain medication side effects can make you dizzy, drowsy, and more prone to falling. Always tell your doctor about all the medication that you are taking, as even some herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications may have side effects or interactions with your prescribed medication.
  • If your sight is deteriorating, you may not always see obstacles or uneven ground clearly. People with hearing difficulties also have a greater risk of falling. If possible, do something about deteriorating sight or hearing.

Other ways to prevent falls

  • Keep yourself active, as this improves strength, balance, co-ordination, and flexibility.
  • Wear sensible shoes with non-skid soles. Don’t walk around in socks or floppy slippers.
  • Hold on to the handrails when using stairs.
  • Make your home and/or office safer by:

    • ensuring that walkways are wide enough and free from unnecessary furniture and clutter, with no loose flooring or electrical cords that may cause you to trip;
    • ensuring that outside areas such as paving or grass are flat and even;
    • having commonly used items easily available and not difficult to get to;
    • cleaning up any spills immediately, so that you don’t slip on the spill;
    • installing railings at the toilet and in the shower or bath, as well as using non-slip mats in the bathroom and non-slip tread on stairs;
    • ensuring that common areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and stairs, as well as outside areas, are well lit before venturing into them. Have a bedside light that can be easily switched on before you get out of bed, as well as a portable light in the case of power failures.
  • Use a cane or a walker if you are at high risk of falling.