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Home Safety Tips to Prevent a Fall

Did you know that most falls happen in the home? There are ways to make your home more safe to decrease your risk of falling. 

Here are some tips to prevent falls in your home. 

1) Avoid having cords or wires on the ground or in an area where you have to walk around or over them

2) De-clutter! Avoid having clutter around, the less tripping hazards the better off you will be

3) Have proper lighting- keep spare light bulbs at your house and in an easily accessible place. Is there a light close to your bed? It is best to have a light that is within reach of your bed. Use nights lights! You can get motion sensor lights which can be helpful especially at night.

4) Try to keep objects off of the floor

5) Have a clear path from your bed to the bathroom

6) Avoid and/or be cautious with area rugs – if you have them, use double sided tape or non-slip backing so they don’t move around

7) Have non-slip mats in the shower/tub and always watch out for wet spots on the floor. Grab bars are also great to have.

8) In the kitchen, try to keep things you use often on the lower shelves of cabinets, or around or at counter/waist height.

9) Outdoors or indoors, make sure to have sturdy handrails ( 2 rails are better than 1!). Keep steps cleared, well lit, and if they are uneven, loose, or in rough shape, fix them; it will be worth it!

10) Exercise or get some form of physical activity daily! 🙂

If you would like more ways to make your home safer, would like a consultation/walk through of your home with safety recommendations or have questions please contact A to Z Personal Wellness.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

It is Fall Prevention Awareness Week! Fall prevention is so important, so let’s talk about it.

Did you know that if you have fallen in the past year you are at risk for falling again? Did you know that even if you haven’t fallen but have a fear of falling that also increases your risk of falling?

The good news is that falling is not a normal part of aging and there are ways to prevent and modify risk factors for falling.

Here are some things to think about during fall prevention week:

  • Have you had your eyes checked recently (within the past year)? If not, make an appointment to have them checked. While you’re at it, clean your glasses and keep them clean to help prevent a fall!
  • Have you had your hearing checked recently(within the past year)? If not, make sure to also make an appointment to check your ears. Even if you don’t like wearing hearing aides it is important to wear them as often as you can because when your hearing is affected, so is your balance which could lead to a fall.
  • Next on the check list, have you had a conversation with your doctor about medications, both prescription and over the counter, that you are currently taking? Talking to your doctor about medications- dosage, interactions with other medications, and knowing side effects is extremely helpful for fall prevention. If your doctor is unaware that you started a new prescription with a different doctor or you started taking over the counter medications with your current prescriptions, it is important to talk about it, especially if you are feeling more fatigued, dizzy, weak, etc which can increase your risk of falling.
  • Are you getting enough vitamin D and calcium for your bone health? The stronger your bones are the less likely you are to have a fracture if you were to have a fall.
  • Check your feet! Any changes in your feet like numbness, tingling, etc can affect your balance which can lead to a fall. There are exercises to help with foot and ankle strength, mobility and balance. Wearing supportive footwear with non slip grip and a back to it also helps to prevent a fall.

Stayed tuned for more fall prevention tips coming soon.

As always, contact A to Z Personal Wellness if you have questions or would like more fall prevention info.

Why Posture Matters

Did your mother ever tell you to stand up tall or sit up straight? Well, she was right if she did nag you about your posture. Posture matters!

Poor posture can lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. Exercising with poor posture can increase risk of injury and cause more harm than good. Poor posture can also decrease your balance and increase risk of falling.

Good posture allows you to stay active longer, have a more youthful appearance, increases your energy level and improves balance. It also decreases risk of falling, strengthens core muscles, improves blood flow, increases confidence and improves your ability to breathe deeply.

If you are unsure of your posture, I would recommend looking in a mirror, both front and sideways, or taking a picture of yourself.

When you are sitting, you want your head, and specifically your ears, over your shoulders and your shoulders stacked over your pelvis. It is also best to sit with feet flat on the floor and hips above your knees.

Our bodies were designed to move, so even if you are sitting, it is important to change positions frequently. Set a timer or reminder on your phone or computer to take movement breaks throughout the day to avoid staying in one position for too long.

With so much time spent sitting at a computer, watching TV or using tablets and phones it is easy to get into a habit of slouching or rounding your shoulders and looking down. Holding your phone at eye level can help improve posture, and making sure to adjust your computer monitor so that you can look at the screen at eye level can also help.

It takes 3 weeks (but usually longer) to change a behavior, so be mindful of your posture and practice the exercises below frequently to make a positive change.

Standing Posture Exercise to try:

  • Stand with your heels approximately 12 inches from the wall and lean back so that your buttock and shoulders touch the wall. 
  • Try to get your head to touch the wall too, but if it doesn’t, make sure to look straight ahead and keep your ears over shoulders. If you are able to do this, try to move your heels closer to the wall.
  • Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times

Seated Posture Exercise to try:

  • Sit at the edge of a chair and lift your chest up and shoulders back, with your ears being aligned over your shoulders. 
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds and then relax back down to your resting posture. – – Repeat this 10 times and try to hold this position for longer if you can.

If you have questions about your posture or would like more guidance on postural exercises contact A to Z Personal Wellness.