A serious concern for Hope Hospice patients is falling. Not all of our patients are mobile, but for those who are, a fall can be painful and may cause the patient’s condition to worsen.
We also have, from time to time, patients whose condition was triggered by a fall. The link may not always be direct or immediate but falls can ultimately lead to numerous bad outcomes, especially among older persons.
Here are a few tips to prevent falls:
- Use a cane or a walker. These can provide stability and help you negotiate tricky surfaces. (Some falls occur when transitioning from a chair to a walker—and vice versa. Use caution.)
- Be extra careful on curbs and sidewalks. Even those that are well marked can be a hazard.
- Keep dogs and other pets out of the way. Pets provide many positives in our lives, but they can cause you to trip or lose balance.
- Wear your glasses to help you see where you’re going. (But be aware of distortion that bifocals can cause; the lower portion of each lens is set for reading at 18 or so inches. This can severely alter perceptions of feet and floors.)
- At night, use a flashlight to light your path down dark hallways.
- Install non-slip strips on shower and bathtub floors. Add grab bars to bathtubs and showers and near toilets.
- Remove all slippery throw rugs.
- Take stairs slowly, both up and down. Install railings on both sides of stairs.
- Sit down slowly. A chair or a cushion can move when you flop down, leading to injury.
- Pay close attention to medical conditions that could cause a fall such as knee or foot problems or dizziness caused by medications.
For information about hospice care in St. Louis, please call us as Hope Hospice. We serve patients and families in St. Louis city and county and in Jefferson, Franklin and St. Charles counties. Reach us at 314-984-9800.