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NEWS

Fall Prevention Tips After Injury, Illness or Surgery

February 26, 2021

Fall Prevention Tips After Injury Illness or Surgery

When recovering from illness, injury or surgery, certain health conditions or medical treatments may increase your risk of falling and/or the potential for injury.

Here are a number of safety tips you or a caregiver can follow to prevent falls, whether in the home or out in the community.

Rugs

  • Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape or a non-slip backing under the rug to prevent sliding.

Remove Clutter

  • Pick up all items on the floor (e.g., boxes, magazines, books, shoes) and remember to always keep objects off the floor.
  • Cut or tape cords and wires next to the wall to avoid tripping over them.

Stairs

  • Do not leave items on the stairs.
  • Make sure there is adequate lighting when using the stairs.
  • Assure stairs are in good repair.
  • If stairs are carpeted, make sure that carpet is firmly attached or remove it and install non-slip rubber treads.
  • Make sure hand rails are routinely checked and are not loose.
  • Install hand rails on both sides of stairs, and make sure they extend the entire length of the stairs.

Kitchen

  • Keep the items most frequently used in waist-level cabinets.
  • If a stepstool is needed to reach items, make sure it is sturdy and has a bar to hold onto. Never use a chair as a stepstool.

Bedroom

  • Make sure the path from your bed to the bathroom is free of clutter.
  • Use a night light or lamp to illuminate your path.

Bathroom

  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or use self-stick strips on the floor of the bathtub or shower.
  • Ask a professional to install grab bars inside the tub area and next to the toilet if needed.

Other Helpful Fall Prevention Tips

  • Exercise regularly to keep strong and to help your balance.
  • Ask a pharmacist or your physician to review all your medications to ensure there are no interactions.
  • If you feel dizzy, seek medical attention.
  • A yearly eye exam is recommended as vision issues can affect your balance.
  • Make sure you get up slowly after sitting or lying down. Stand still or sit for at least 15 seconds to allow your blood pressure to stabilize.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use the brightest light bulbs allowed by your fixtures to improve the lighting in your home, but use lamp shades or frosted bulbs to reduce the glare.
  • Leave a light on at night in case you need to use the bathroom. Invest in a medic alert system and wear the locator around your neck at all times in case you fall.

For more information on fall prevention and how physical rehabilitation can help, call 1-888-44-REHAB or request an appointment online.