Life is sweet at home

Tragic Death Reminds Us to Heed Fall Prevention Tips

Grab bars in the bathroom are a great idea. Photo courtesy W.baermann

Grab bars in the bathroom are a great idea. Photo courtesy W.baermann

You may have seen the news item this week about the unfortunate death of Keith Crisco, a businessman and former state commerce secretary in North Carolina. The 71-year-old was running against former “American Idol” performer Clay Aiken for the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat in North Carolina.

I mention Crisco because his sudden death was due to a fall. According to a Tribune Washington Bureau article, he apparently tripped on a rug on the porch of his home in Asheboro on Monday, falling backward and striking his head on the brick steps.

Every time I hear or read about an unnecessary injury, hospitalization or death from a fall, I think about how falls are the biggest cause of death in older adults. I also think about how many falls could be prevented.

In relation to this story, one of my friends recounted how her 65-year-old grandmother died instantly when she fell from the top of her basement stairs, hitting her head on the cement floor. One possibility is that she tripped on the hem of her housedress.

Let’s avoid these unnecessary tragedies by revisiting some ways we can prevent falls.

How do you make your home “fall-proof?”

 

Falls Prevention Tips:

FLOORS:
• Clear a path
• Remove throw rugs
• Pick up objects off the floor
• Coil or tape cords and wires out of your path

STAIRS AND STEPS:
• Keep objects off stairs
• Fix loose or uneven steps
• Put in good light over the stairs
• Put in a light switch at the top and bottom
• Keep the bulbs working
• Repair torn or loose carpet
• Affix sturdy handrails

KITCHEN:
• Move items you use often to the lower cabinets
• Use a sturdy step stool

BATHROOMS:
• Put non-skid mat or strips on the floor of the tub or shower
• Install grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet

BEDROOMS:

Look at all your bedrooms.
• Place a lamp close to bead where it is easy to reach
• Put a nightlight where you can see the path to the bathroom

Other Things You Can Do to Prevent Falls
• Review your medicines. Do some make you dizzy?
• Exercise regularly for strength and improved balance
• Get vision checked once a year
• Wear shoes inside and outside the house
• Add more uniform lighting