6 Tips To Reduce Falls At Home

I have fallen down the steps twice - once when I was in physical therapy school and once after I was married but before we had kids.

 

The first time I fell was because I was in a hurry so I was running down the stairs between the floors in my graduate housing apartment complex. Racing down any stairs can be dangerous but try doing that while also looking through your mail to make sure you put stamps on the envelopes!

 

Not a good idea!

 

As I looked at the last envelope, I thought I was on the landing to the next set of stairs and I missed the last step. I fell crashing down with my backpack on top of me and my envelopes all scattered about. Despite the pain, I hobbled my way to my physical therapy class. The lesson for the day was gait abnormalites and I was now the lead candidate for everyone to observe my antalgic gait pattern! Not fun! My left ankle was swollen like a tennis ball and very painful. I did receive the nice benefit of electrical stimulation and ice afterwards.

 

Then second time I fell was also not fun. My pajama pants got caught on my flip flop so I flipped and flopped down 7 steps to a crash. I heard a crack and thought I broke my ankle. Fortunately, I worked next to an orthopedic group so I called them and they got me in immediately. My husband drove me to the appointment where I learned that the x-ray was negative for a fracture but I had a severe sprain of the two ankle ligaments. I treated my patients that day while wearing an ankle brace and using crutches! 

 

The take-home points from these two experiences are:

  • When you walk up or down stairs, focus on going up and down the stairs safely. Avoid reading, sorting mail, or checking your phone. It can wait!
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too long or baggy and can cause you to slip or fall.

 

If you would like more tips on how to reduce falls in your home, watch this video to learn six more ways to stay safe!

 

For more information about improving your balance and strength so you can feel confident when you walk or complete chores, please don’t hesitate to contact me!



To Your Best Health,

Dr. Jeanette



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