Few things feel as helpless as falling. Unfortunately, more than 800,000 people are hospitalized each year in the US as a result of a fall-down accident, causing problems as simple as a scrape and as serious as permanent brain damage. However, by being proactive, you might be able to decrease your risk. The following are four easy things you can do to prevent fall-down accidents, as well as how to move forward if you are hurt.
You never know what you will come across when you head to the grocery store or visit your favorite park, which is why you should make sure that you are completely aware of your surroundings at all times. Spilled water, crumpled carpets, and even out-of-place electrical cords can lead to falls, as they can interfere with your ability to find stable footing.
As you move through restaurants, stores, public restrooms, and parks, keep an eye on the path ahead of you. Pay attention to the sheen of the ground to watch for water, and look for inconsistencies in the surface height. If you can’t see the ground crisply, consider having your vision checked to make it easier to spot problems.
If you are in public and you notice issues with the store floor or ground, report the problem to management or nearby officials as soon as possible. For instance, if you have noticed that retail workers have strung an electrical cord across an entryway rug to work on something in the store, notifying management could help prevent accidents.
You might love those new pumps or those sleek sandals, but wearing the wrong shoes could increase your chances of slipping, tripping, or falling. In fact, if you are ever involved in a slip and fall accident in public, store officials may ask to take photos of your shoes to prove that you were at fault for the incident, especially if you aren’t wearing safe footwear.
To prevent stability problems related to your shoes, avoid wearing heels, platforms, or shoes that have a slippery sole. Leather-soled shoes are beautiful, but they can lack the right amount of traction to prevent problems. Instead, choose shoes with sturdy rubber soles, and pay attention to the type of traction they offer.
Keep in mind that shoes that offer ankle support can also reduce your risk of falls since they stabilize your entire foot and leg. If you tend to fall frequently, opt for a high-top sneaker or a reinforced running shoe. Whatever you do, avoid wearing shoes that you can’t walk comfortably in, and avoid pumps, stilettos, and platforms.
Strong muscles decrease your chances of falling because they make you more stable. If you happen to walk across an uneven surface and you stumble slightly, your body will have an easy time reacting to the forces, preventing your chances of falling and becoming injured.
Although all exercise can help, certain movements have been shown to be especially effective in the fight against falls. For instance, biking is helpful because, in addition to strengthening your major leg muscles, you also balance the entire time, improving your core. Stair climbing is another exercise that improves balance and strength because you are standing on one foot briefly between each step.
Eastern exercises like yoga and Thai chi have also been shown to improve balance and stability while simultaneously encouraging flexibility. Using a combination of slow, intentional movements and muscle-building positions, both practices can help you strengthen your body, relax your mind, and improve movement smoothness, helping to prevent falls.
Whether you live with a disability or are more unsure of your footing with each passing year, be sure to use assistive devices if you tend to stumble. Handrails, door push buttons, and even canes and walkers can help prevent you from falling, protecting your quality of life.
When you are out and about, be smart as you travel through spaces, and use safety equipment like stair handrails, crosswalks, and door push buttons. If you are sick or injured, take advantage of complimentary wheelchairs, power scooters, and accessibility ramps to make things easier on yourself.
If you struggle with mobility, talk with your doctor about prescribing assistive devices like canes, walkers, or wheelchairs. While it can be hard to admit that you need help, improving your mobility with the right equipment could help you to stay more comfortable and prevent life-threatening slips and falls.
While you can do a lot to prevent accidents, you can’t avoid every slippery situation. If you have fallen and you suspect that you aren’t at fault, give Gelman Gelman Wiskow & McCarthy LLC a call. In addition to helping you determine whether or not you have a case, our experienced team will make every effort to make your recovery as convenient and comfortable as possible. Stop by and talk with one of our professionals today, or chat with us online.