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FirstLight Home Care - Tina GlennTina Glenn

Tina Glenn is the President and CEO of Hearthside Home Care Inc. with home care services as FirstLight Home Care Guilford. She has over 40 years in healthcare and C-level executive experience of 28 years. She can be reached at 336-808-1351.

According to the National Council on Aging, one in four older Americans experiences a fall annually, and falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for older adults. Therefore, fall prevention is extremely important.

The most common fall risks for the elderly can include physical factors such as impaired vision, poor balance, medication side effects, and chronic conditions such as arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Environmental hazards may include poor lighting, clutter, slippery floors, and lack of safety equipment such as grab bars.

Although falls are not a normal part of aging, many of us lose coordination, flexibility and balance as we age, increasing our potential to fall.

There are ways to help prevent falls and stay safe in the places we call home.

Be aware of tripping hazards.

Remove clutter from floors, hallways, and staircases around the home as unnecessary clutter can be a tripping hazard. Also, remove or repair items such as loose carpets, throw rugs, uneven flooring, electrical cords, and unnecessary furniture.

Keep essential items within reach.

A telephone, lamp, and other necessary items should be reachable on the bedside table and in areas of the home where they spend the most time. Eyeglasses, canes, and walkers should also be easily accessible.

Keep the bathroom safe.

Add slip-resistant mats inside and outside of the shower or tub to prevent slipping. A raised toilet seat makes it easier for someone who is weak or has balance problems. Install grab bars and handrails by toilets and bathtubs and in stairways and hallways.

Illuminate the home.

Install brighter light bulbs in each room for everyday use. Add night lights in bedrooms and bathrooms for better guidance at night. Light switches should be accessible at room entrances and at the beginning of any dark area. Automatic touch lights that turn on when you touch the base of the lamp are helpful for those with arthritis or painful joints.

Check medications.

Review all medications with physicians or pharmacists to see if there is an increased risk for falls. Some medications, such as sedatives, hypnotics, and antipsychotics can cause dizziness, drowsiness, and other side effects that can increase the risk of a fall.

Falls can be serious, especially in older adults, so it’s important to be aware of the risks and take steps to reduce them. Making simple changes to lifestyle and environment can help reduce the risk of falls and stay safe.

Provided by Tina Glenn, President and Roget de Percin, Vice President of FirstLight Home Care of Guilford, and FirstLight Home Care of Jacksonville and Crystal Coast of NC.