Being aware of environment both inside and out is essential to maintain safety and keep our balance. Anyone that has had a fall over something can appreciate how something can just jump out at you from nowhere.
So how can we make our environment safe.
Lights - Make sure areas of your house are well lit especially on stairs and in places where the floor changes level or surfaces. At night have a bedside light or nightlight that can be turned on if you need to go to the toilet.
Install and USE handrails on stairs, in the bathroom or toilet if your balance is impaired
Keep walkways clear and safe
- Have enough space to walk through furniture and make sure it is at the right height
- Keep obstacles off the floor, such as loose electrical cords or like in my house kids toys tidied away.
-Be aware of pets running around your feet.
- Remove rugs and mats that can slide and move or that curl up. Otherwise secure them to the floor with tape, velcro or tacks. This also includes worn carpet that someone could catch their foot on.
-If objects are not in easy reach, move them or move you closer to them do not try and reach something that could make you off balance.
- Clean up spills as soon as they happen in the kitchen and bathroom
Take time to notice your surrounding, remembering that uneven surfaces such as grass or broken concrete footpaths will challenge your balance so be prepared.
Use appropriate walking aids, walking aids are great if you have a balance problem, they increase your independence, improve your balance and confidence and can also alert others around you that your balance is not great and to be considerate.
Watch out for slippery floors in malls and shops especially if wet.
Take extra care on public transport ask a bus driver to not move off until you are seated.
Keep outdoor areas clean of mould moss and leaves, use something like wet and forget or baking soda and water to keep paths clear.
Owner/operator and Senior Physiotherapist of Hibiscus Neuro Rehab.