Each year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and loss of independence in people ages 65 and older. Jaza Marina, MD, geriatrician at Kaiser Permanente Glenlake Medical Center in Atlanta, Georgia, provides these tips on how to fall-proof your home to avoid falls:
- Be aware of anything in your home that might cause a fall, like rugs, cords and furniture.
- Use night lights or hallway lamps to improve visibility when it’s dark.
- Install rails, a shower chair, or other devices to assist in getting out of the tub safely.
In addition, Dr. Marina explains that, if you fall, there is a “right” way to fall in order to prevent a serious injury:
- Falling forward: hands and palms flat down, land on forearms
- Falling backward: bend the knees and squat, hands and palms flat out, land on forearms, tuck the chin and neck
- Falling sideways: hand and palm flat down, land on forearm