A new year is a great time to evaluate how you or your loved ones are doing at home, make a plan on how to change things that are difficult, and talk to your loved ones about changes that might need to be made. We have some suggestions on ideas to help get you started and to help you decrease your fall risk.
Sleep is a major factor in how you are feeling for the day. Poor sleep can cause you to become more unbalanced and fatigue quickly. Sleeping well is an important part of safety in your home. Three key parts of improving sleep are positioning, lighting, and habits before bed. Being comfortable with your positioning is key. Many people have trouble sleeping flat on their back during the night. People with chronic pain, breathing issues, or acid reflux can benefit from using a wedge pillow to lift their head slightly and improve quality sleep. A bed wedge can also be used to elevate your legs to decrease edema if needed It is important to have your main lights turned down low prior to sleeping to help your body prepare for the night and get ready for sleep. These night lights are motion activated to allow you to still see if you need to get up yet are dim enough to let your body know it's time to settle down. Electronics emit just enough light to signal the brain it is time to wake up rather than go to sleep. Our bodies are trained to wake and sleep with the sun. Almost everyone has electronics in the bedroom so just try to limit your use of them as you get ready for bed to improve your ability to fall asleep. Instead, try reading a book with a lamp with a warm color temperature.
How to Manage Medications Safely?
Improper doses or use of prescription medications is a major cause of injury and hospitalizations in older people. Creating a system where medication can be taken easily is one major change that will greatly improve your safety at home. One solution is also setting an alarm on your phone to help you remember to take the medications at the proper times. Consider one of our pill organizers that can alert you at appropriate times to take medications.
Can I reduce my fall risk?
In our line of work we run into all kinds of people, and we have heard this line many times - "I don't use my walker/cane inside." Our response is normally - you will have less risk of falling if you do. If you use a walker or cane to walk using it in your home will help reduce fatigue with mobility and reduce your chance of falling in your home. Make a plan to use your assistive device in your home to help keep you out of the hospital.
How Do I Make My Home Safe?
Safety Resolution Ideas:
1. Ensure there is proper lighting in home especially areas where you walk at night.
2. Ensure the stove easily accessible to turn on/off.
3. Ensure the bathroom set up is accessible for you.
4. Ensure you have a safe way to enter/exit the home.
5. Ensure you can meet your needs safely.
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