MY LIFE MAGAZINE - WINTER 2022-2023
By Jennie Flowers
Having a developmental disability may put you at a greater risk for falls. You also might be at risk of falling as you get older. Falls can sometimes cause significant injuries like hitting your head or breaking a bone.
Talk to your family, friends, doctors or support team about how to avoid getting hurt if you fall. Paying attention to your home, health and habits can keep you safe!
- Check each room of your house for tripping hazards. These could be cords, loose rugs, or clutter on the floor. Keep the floor clear and secure rugs, cords or other things that might make you trip.
- Make sure all your stairways have a handrail and enough light so you can see. Keep items off the stairs.
- If you spill something on the floor, clean it up right away so you don’t slip.
- Some medicines may make you dizzy or tired and more likely to fall. Ask your doctor about side effects for medicines you need.
- Have a doctor check your vision regularly. If you need glasses to see clearly, wear them!
- Strong leg muscles can improve your balance and make it less likely you will fall. Going for walks is a great way to build leg muscles. You can find easy strength or balance exercises online.
- Make sure your shoes and clothes fit well. Wearing baggy pants or having untied shoes increases your risk of falling and getting hurt.
- Slow down! Walking fast or running, especially on uneven ground, might make you fall. Take your time and pay attention to where you put your feet.
- Keep one hand free while carrying items so you can hold onto a railing for support, if needed.
Jennie Flowers is the director of the HCDDS Major Unusual Incident and Prevention team. Find more resources, exercises, and fun activities at HamiltonDDS.org/FallPrevention.