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Preventing Accidents and Falls
When older adults have home accidents the results can be bad. For example, falls commonly cause broken bones. Bones may break in the hip, leg, and spine of older adults.
Follow these tips to keep from having accidents:
- Take care of yourself: Visit your doctor every year. For added peace of mind, wear an alarm that lets family or friends know if you have an accident.
- Learn ways to keep your balance: Wear shoes that fit well. Have problems with your feet such as calluses or corns checked out by your doctor.
- Learn about your medicines: Always check with your doctor if you feel dizzy or sick after taking your medicine.
- Make your home safer: Remove items from your floors so that you don’t trip on them. Keep your home well-lit.
- Stay safe while bathing: Install bars or handles to help you get in and out of the bath.
- Install good locks on doors and windows.
- Don’t hide keys in mailboxes or under door mats.
- Leave an extra set of keys with a trusted neighbor or friend.
- Keep your home well-lit at night inside and out.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly. Replace batteries twice a year when you change your clock for Daylight Saving Time.
- Never put anything on or near your stove that could catch fire. This includes paper, dishcloths, curtains, etc.
- Candles should never be left burning when you leave your home or go to bed. Make sure to keep them away from things that catch fire, such as curtains, beddings and papers.
- Always walk in well-lit areas. Use reflective gear or clothing at night. Avoid walking alone at night; walking with someone else is safer.
- Walk near curbs and away from alleys and doorways.
- Put your wallet in an inside coat or front pants pockets.
- Carry your purse close to your body, not dangling by the strap.
- Don’t carry a large amount of cash or credit cards you don’t need.
- Carry your ID with you at all times.
Medicines help people when they are sick, but they need to be taken right to avoid problems. Be sure to read the label on your medicine and ask the pharmacist or doctor if something is not clear. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take. Remember to include prescription and over-the counter drugs and herbal remedies or supplements. Keep them out of reach of children and adolescents.