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Simple Changes Help Prevent Falls in Your Home

SUNRISE, FL – August 25, 2014 – As we age, the likelihood of a fall increases significantly. While some falls are the result of an underlying medical condition, many are completely preventable. Starting with small and simple changes around the house can make an enormous difference. For example, the two most important things can be done today, at no cost: simply remove throw rugs and stop multitasking while you are in motion.
 
If it’s happened to you, you are not alone: falls are experienced by one out of three people over age 65 each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The following tips will help you stay safer in your home:
  • Place furniture so that you have a clear and unobstructed path to and from common destinations within your home.
  • Eliminate loose rugs to prevent tripping.
  • Choose uniform – rather than uneven – flooring for walkways.
  • If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, make sure it is secure and flat, without bunched-up wrinkles or raised areas. Be particularly cautious when walking between a carpeted room and a hardwood floor.
  • To reduce shadows, change out all light bulbs in primary fixtures that can safely accommodate them to 100 watts, and add night-lights for those late-night trips to the bathroom.
  • Make sure all stairways have handrails and add grab bars to bathroom walls. Handrails placed near the toilet, bathtub or shower help counter balance issues when sitting and standing.
  • In the kitchen, forgo slippery floor wax. Also store frequently used kitchen items in cabinets that are easily accessible, at waist-high level.
  • On stairs, pay particular attention to the top and bottom, where it is easy to miss a step. Place a bright-colored, reflective tape or paint a bright, contrasting color along the edge of each stair – not seeing the edge is the cause of many falls. Other options include adding stair treads and handrails on both sides. 
  • If you or your loved one is unable to walk up and down stairs, consider adding a stair chair that electrically glides up and down the steps.
  • Clear any clutter on the floor which can be particularly hazardous for nighttime trips from bedroom to bathroom. Also make sure cords and wires are coiled or taped to a wall to keep walkways clear.
  • Sit when dressing or putting on shoes, even if you don’t think you have any issues with balance.
 
Interim HealthCare’s Web site offers a wealth of information about in-home health, safety and
fall prevention including an interactive, educational game called the Hidden Hazards House.
 
About Interim HealthCare:
Interim HealthCare® Inc., founded in 1966, is a leading national franchisor of home care, hospice and healthcare staffing. The company has grown its franchise operations to approximately 500 global locations with more than 250 owner groups having recently acquired UK-based Bluebird Care Franchises Limited. Interim HealthCare in the United States is unique in combining the commitment of local ownership with the support of a national organization that develops innovative programs and quality standards that improve the delivery of service. Franchisees employ nurses, therapists, aides, companions and other healthcare professionals who provide 25 million hours of home care service to 190,000 people each year, meeting a variety of home health, senior care, hospice, palliative care, pediatric care and healthcare staffing needs. For more information or to locate an Interim HealthCare office, visit www.interimhealthcare.com.
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