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Trip Hazards and Fall Prevention at Home

  • By lemaster
  • 27 Oct, 2016

Evaluate Your Home for these Common Trip Hazards

here are many factors involved in maximizing your mobility and ensuring your environment is accessible. Sometimes all that is needed is to clean up some clutter around the house or adding more lighting to a hallway. There are hundreds of solutions and funding options available to you to make your environment safe and easy to use.

Not sure where to start? Check out NAHB ’s site to get some ideas or reach out to a healthcare or building professional; If they can’t help you they will be able to direct you to someone who can. Be sure to vet contractors and interview them with someone you trust to be there as your advocate.

  Here are 7 simple tips on keeping your environment safe:

  • Check Walkways. Paths, stairs, doorways, ramps, entryways, and steps. The integrity of the surfaces may be compromised by cracks, water rot, holes, standing water, or even motor or cooking oil spills. Check daily and keep them clear and clean of spills, ropes, hoses, tacks, toys, broken glass, nails, plant overgrowth, or other obstacles that could trip you up.
  • Slippery & Uneven .Add anti-slip tape to steps, inclines, and ramps to give added traction and safety. There are even textured paint products  to apply to walking surfaces to make them non-skid if you appreciate a more finished look. Check with a local, licensed, and insured contractor for help with building and keeping ramps and stairs well maintained.
  • Some things to look out for, broken and uneven concrete or rickety wooden steps could be the most dangerous entry hazards to be on the look out for. If your driveway is your main entryway and on an incline with oil spills consider an alternate, a separate ramp .

  • Lighting . Make sure your home is well lit. Utilize lamps, motion sensor lights , night lights , LED strips , illuminated switches , or daylighting . Any good electrician can help you with the design and installation, such as a light in the hallway with a switch at either end. Simply having a well placed lamp can be helpful, one next to the bed when you get up in the middle of the night. For a low cost solution, keep a handheld flashlight around in case of a power outage or even just to find the light switch at night. Many smart phones have a flashlight app available, a really useful tool in the event you do fall, then you can call for help too.

    ∗Check out more about the home in our blog,
    Achieve Greater Accessibility through Home Renovation ———->>>>>>>>>

  • Weather . Extreme weather can be dangerous, making going outside to your mailbox or to the store, a hazard to your health. Check the weather before going out and reconsider if it is hot, flooding, icy, snowing, rainy, or worse tornados or hurricanes. Texas is known for its heat, according to a 2013 National Weather Service report 92 people died from the heat exhaustion and not taking the proper precautions when going outside.
  • Furniture & Rugs . Make sure your furniture is at least 32” to 36” away from other furniture, hallways, and doorways. Having ample space to walk around can be helpful in avoiding a fall or sidestepping that quick nephew that likes to round the corner at lightning speed. Rugs can shift and get turned up, especially if you have hard floors that make it easy for them to move. Use rubberized underlayment mats or rug grippers to keep rugs from turning up or slipping altogether.
  • Railings . Add railings anywhere in the house that you feel might potentially compromise stability and cause a fall. Add them to steps, decks, hallways, bathrooms, showers, or even next to the bed to help you get up. Be sure to have a professional install the railings properly, otherwise it may come out of the wall when weight is applied, you fall, and part of the wall come down on you.

  • Address balance or other health concerns . If you wear glasses or contacts remember to have your prescription renewed once a year or more if recommended by your doctor. If you are having persistent dizziness or vertigo check in with your doctor and see what treatment he/she recommends. Discuss with your healthcare professional their suggestions for improving balance.

Read our blog, Catch a Fall: Prevention Tips for Balance Issues ——->>>>>>


    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    There is no place like home when settled and in a routine, everything in it’s right place and well established in the community. After years in one town, you have done everything that can be done in and around your house and in the community and yet you still have a yearning. Perhaps your group of friends, for whatever reason, aren’t around anymore. It is never too late to embark on one last journey after all the rest of the family is off doing their thing….why not you?

    Don’t let a loss keep you from keepin’ on, carry their best traits on to another friend, read,   Befriend Anew: Being Social after a Friend has Fallen ”————->>>>>

    It seems like things changed overnight in your neighborhood when you moved into your house you lived in the country, now suddenly the area developed and you practically live in the city. Maybe you live in the city and it just isn’t the laid back place you moved into originally. All of the events you use to go to are no more and all of the new events are geared toward a younger age group. You don’t even feel safe taking that morning walk anymore.

    Take a good look at your community and read,  

    How Does your Neighborhood Rank for Mobility Safety? ”———>>>

    This scenario is more and more common and you are not alone, change is the constant in a developing world. Well there are many options available to offer you that which you have been longing for: private duty, age restricted (adult) communities, assisted living communities, continuing care retirement communities, and of course nursing homes. Depending on your health care needs there is just about any accommodation that you might desire. Some 1.6 million Americans live in Nursing homes or Assisted Living facilities.

    Naturally there are pros and cons to any situation and you may not have a choice if you are dealing with a diagnosis that severely restricts your mobility. That exception aside, let us assume a variety of options within a scale of Independence.

    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016
    I remember when I was young watching a documentary about chimpanzees by Dr Jane Goodall where a young chimp died from grief. It was depressing and it made me wonder if there was a link between depression and grief, when one member of a couple passes the other soon follows. For a long time mental illness was hard to describe, diagnose, let alone cure. How does one treat something that is so intangible and unpredictable?
    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016
    When you are coming of age and your grandfather passes away its almost expected. As you get older and you become the elder something they don’t tell you is that your friends unexpectedly start to pass. The pain and grieving may take a toll on you and the idea of picking up again and putting yourself out there seem just unbearable.
    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    here are many factors involved in maximizing your mobility and ensuring your environment is accessible. Sometimes all that is needed is to clean up some clutter around the house or adding more lighting to a hallway. There are hundreds of solutions and funding options available to you to make your environment safe and easy to use.

    Not sure where to start? Check out NAHB ’s site to get some ideas or reach out to a healthcare or building professional; If they can’t help you they will be able to direct you to someone who can. Be sure to vet contractors and interview them with someone you trust to be there as your advocate.

      Here are 7 simple tips on keeping your environment safe:

    • Check Walkways. Paths, stairs, doorways, ramps, entryways, and steps. The integrity of the surfaces may be compromised by cracks, water rot, holes, standing water, or even motor or cooking oil spills. Check daily and keep them clear and clean of spills, ropes, hoses, tacks, toys, broken glass, nails, plant overgrowth, or other obstacles that could trip you up.
    • Slippery & Uneven .Add anti-slip tape to steps, inclines, and ramps to give added traction and safety. There are even textured paint products  to apply to walking surfaces to make them non-skid if you appreciate a more finished look. Check with a local, licensed, and insured contractor for help with building and keeping ramps and stairs well maintained.
    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    It may not seem necessary to practice balance building exercises when you are younger and have no reason to worry. Don’t let that lack of foresight end up with hindsight reflections years later in the hospital. Let prevention be your new mantra. The danger of a potentially fatal fall is real and action should be taken into consideration. Why? Injuries from a fall is one of the leading causes of fatality for older Americans. Still not convinced? How about saying goodbye to your life savings?! Medical costs related to falls is in the hundreds of millions and by one estimate 1.2 billion dollars .

    Aside from the average person being inactive there are a number of balance disorders that could be causing a loss of ability. Such conditions as positional vertigo, Labyrinthitis, Ménière’s disease, Vestibular neuronitis, Perilymph fistula, and Mal de Debarquement syndrome. Treatments can range from a simple exercise to very complex therapies administered by a professional.

    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    Technology has become such an integral part of our lives, making tasks easier and for some, making what most of us take for granted like walking, a reality. In an ideal world we wouldn’t need help and when we did family, friends, and doctors would be there to help. Sometimes that support network isn’t always available to be there for us in the ways with which we need.

    There are any number of complications that could arise to limit your mobility and diminish your quality of life. A simple accident such as a fall can be devastating for the older populations; with long recovery times and the potential atrophy of muscles, incontinence, and the like.

    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    Your ability to navigate the city has as much to do with its infrastructure as does your skill at traversing it. That in combination with the level of public accessibility can have a major impact on your quality of life. There is a lot involved in planning a city properly for people of all backgrounds and circumstances to be able to access it easily.

    What is the primary way with which you get around? Car? Bus? By foot? The ease and safety of how you get from point A to point B and back has a psychological effect on your being; as you age those options become more limited depending on your circumstance. Maintaining the Activities of Daily Living may include a certain level of mobility for you to feel engaged and enriched. Whether it means being social at your weekly gatherings at the country club or just getting good fresh ingredients for the evening’s dinner.

    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    Generally I do not begin a blog with a disclaimer but we want you to take this advice with serious consideration and great caution. You can be injured, fatally so, if you do not follow the advice of a professional who knows the specific state and ability of your body. The following is provided for information purposes only, following these techniques does not imply proper form or ability. You have unique physical and mental needs that should be addressed by your doctor and personal trainer before starting any exercise regimen.

    So you have made a resolution to start following a solid exercise plan this year (or the doctor has mandated it) and you’re determined to stay on track. The doctor has been telling you for years to exercise and there is ample research to back up the benefits of exercise for seniors . Sometimes the hardest part is having the discipline to stick with it or even knowing what exercise to do in the first place. There is a lot of information out there and everyone has some advice to give (or a plan/membership to sell) not to mention the rules are different for older adults . The CDC recommends at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise per week, that is a little over 20 minutes a day. So let’s get going!

    By lemaster 27 Oct, 2016

    There are a lot of options available to you if the Activities of Daily Living become a little more challenging than they use to be. It may be more difficult to get your Dad to admit that he isn’t as capable as he use to be than it would be to install a couple of grab bars. Understandably we all want to maintain our independence, after all, we spend the first eighteen years of our life trying to be an adult (at least most of us TRY to).

    If you have looked into moving into a long term care facility (nursing home) and it is not an option for you, then it may be time to make some modifications to your house so that it is more accessible for your changing needs. If you have a second floor or the bathroom is a bit too small or maybe the cabinets are too high for you to reach anymore, look into some remodeling. You or your loved one may be on the verge of being considered disabled if not currently diagnosed with a condition that warrants a change. It is important thing to consider because accidents and falls are one of the leading causes of decline and death in the elderly.

    The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) maintains a long list of suggested renovation projects that might make life a little easier. Whatever your changing needs may be there is a solution that any good Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) contractor can help with. Lets take a look at your options from DIY to hiring a professional and the costs associated with some of the most common accessibility renovations.

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