ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Avoiding a fall is probably not top of mind for most people, and likely feels pretty out of our control, but is it?
Dr. Audrey Baria, associate medical director with WellMed explains there are simple steps you can take around your home, not only to protect yourself, but those who pose the greatest risk, which includes anyone who’s unstable on their feet.
That risk could be linked to muscle weakness, age, and medication use.
Dr. Baria says the number one spot for falls around the home is the bathroom. To help, she suggests installing grab bars and removing rugs.
“People like to put right by the sink some sort of area rug so that they can stand on it, get rid of those,” she says.
Around the home, Dr. Baria says remove any clutter that’s in your path.
“If you have a stack of magazines or a stack of newspapers because you collect them, that’s going to be something that could potentially trip you up.”
Area rugs in rooms can also be a hazard. Dr. Baria says if you’re concerned about a loved one, “take a walk through their space, walk with them, look at things that we know that are fall risks and see if there’s a way that you can remove that.”
If someone at a greater risk of falling is living alone, Dr. Baria suggests using a Life Alert monitoring service and if a fall happens take a minute before you get up. She says, “first, take a couple of deep breaths, get your bearings, try to do a self-assessment to see if you hurt anything.”