Don’t Let Your Equipment Trip You Up: Tips for Preventing a Fall
Having the equipment to live a healthier, more comfortable life right in your own home is wonderful, but it can also pose some risks that you need to be aware of — like tripping or falling. When you are first becoming aquatinted with having medical equipment, and even after you have become accustom to having it in your home, there is a higher likelihood of accidentally tripping, falling or even slipping because of your equipment.
We want your home medical equipment to be nothing but helpful and comfortable, which is why we’ve compiled this list of preventative steps so you can minimize your chance of having a slip or a fall.
- Understand and follow the equipment instructions regarding proper use and safety. If you have any questions about how to operate your equipment, please call us and we will be happy to help.
- Remove any items from stairs and walkways, like shoes or home decorations.
- Remove throw rugs that may cause you to trip. If a rug is needed, use rugs with non-skid backing to avoid slipping.
- Arrange furniture so that pathways are not cluttered and you have ample room to move around with or without your equipment.
- Repair or replace torn carpeting.
- Improve the lighting in your home, especially in hallways, stairs and bathrooms. Adding more lamps and replacing bulbs with higher-watt bulbs can help.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Use bathtub grab bars to help you get in and out of the tub or shower. If you would like us to suggest a model of grab bars, we would be more than happy to help.
- Wear slippers or shoes that will not slide. Rubber-soled shoes and slippers are best.
- Keep your eye glasses, cane and walker within reach. Having the most important things you need to move around at an arm’s length can help prevent falls.
- If you have a hospital bed, keep it in the lowest position. Also make sure the wheels are locked at all times. If you would like to know more about the features of your hospital bed, we can certainly provide you with that information and show you first-hand.
- Use the bed rails of your hospital bed when appropriate. If you have any questions on how to adjust the bed rails, let us know and we can show you.
- Use a bath seat if it is difficult to stand during a shower or if it is too difficult to get out of a tub. If you would like help locating a bath seat, we can help.
- Use an elevated toilet seat or safety rails if you need support getting on and off the toilet. We can provide you with this equipment.
- Use chairs with arm rests and high backs for more support when sitting and more leverage when getting in and out of the chair.
- Avoid locking bathroom doors so others can assist you if you need to be helped. If you are worried about someone walking in, we suggest putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door knob or something comparable that lets others know the bathroom is occupied.
- Store frequently used items at waist level. You may want to ask a friend or family member to help you rearrange drawers if need be.
Use a reacher/grabber to avoid standing on a chair or footstool when items are not in arms reach. We can provide you with a reacher or grabber if you need one.
If you use a wheelchair, lock the wheels every time you get in or out.
Your safety is important to us, and we hope that this list of tips will help you stay safe while you enjoy the benefits of your home medical equipment.