Fire and burns are not the only hazards that threaten the senior population. Falls have become a significant cause of injury and disability in the 65 and older population.
It is important to Renton Fire that our senior population are able to live healthy independent lives. Fall prevention is key to long and independent living. The following are steps to help keep you strong and safe from falls:
1. Exercise regularly. Exercise will help you build strength and improve your balance and coordination. Ask your doctor about the best physical exercise for you.
2. Take your time. Get out of chairs slowly. Sit a moment before you get out of your bed. Stand and get your balance before you walk. Be aware of your surroundings.
3. Keep stairs and walking areas clear. Remove electrical cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazines and other items that may be in the way of foot traffic. Have easy-to-grip handrails installed along the full length on both sides of the stairs.
4. Improve the lighting in and outside your room. Use night lights or a flashlight to the light the between your bedroom and the bathroom. Stairways should be well lit. lighting from both the top and the bottom of stairways is important. Turn lights on before using the stairs. See an eye specialist once a year- better vision can help prevent falls.
5. Use non-slip mats. Non-slip mats increase safety in the bathtub and shower floors. Have grab bars installed on the wall next to the bathtub, shower and toilet. Wipe up spilled liquids immediately.
6. Be aware of uneven surfaces. Make sure indoor flooring is safe. Use only throw rugs that have rubber, no-skid backing. Consider non-skid pads under rugs. Always smooth out wrinkles and folds in carpeting. Be aware of uneven sidewalks and pavement outdoors. Always use handrails, if available and step carefully.
7. Wear sturdy well-fitted shoes. Low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles are best. These are safer than high heels, thick-soled athletic shoes, slippers, or stocking feet.