|Talk to your patients about fall-proofing their homes this holiday season |
With all the holiday cheer and festive activities this season, the last thing most people think about is their risk for falls. But patients should be reminded of the possible dangers lurking in their homes that could put them at risk. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association encourage families to make simple changes in their homes by implementing the safety tips from our Falls Prevention and Awareness Guide. The guide and other fall prevention resources are also available at OrthoInfo.org/falls.
Talk to your patients the next time they visit your office or start spreading the word today by sharing our guideline and infographic on your social media pages using hashtag #HomeSafetyIsBoneSafety.
You may also order free copies of our fall prevention PSA poster by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some tips to help you get the conversation started.
- Reduce clutter - It’s easy to accumulate clutter, such as boxes of décor and stacks of gifts from holiday shopping. Take the time to declutter your home, especially the hallways and stairs.
- Designate a play area. Children may receive lots of new toys for the holidays and scatter them around the house. It’s important to contain those toys in a dedicated play area and clean up toys after kids are done playing to avoid tripping.
- Keep walkways clear. Keep the path between your front door, driveway and mailbox well-lit and clear of debris.
- Install nightlights. Keep the halls/walkways in your home well-lit and consider a nightlight in your bathroom. A clear path is especially helpful for family members or guest who are trying to get to the restroom in the middle of the night.
- Secure all loose area rugs. Place double-faced tape or slip-resistant backing on all loose rugs around your home including the bathroom.
- Rearrange furniture. Ensure no furniture is blocking pathways between rooms.
- Consider stair gates. If you have young kids who will be visiting for the holidays, or who live in your home, consider installing child-proof gates at the top and bottom of your stairs to prevent children from accessing them without adult supervision.
- If a fall happens, do not panic. Take several deep breaths, assess the situation and determine if you are hurt. If you are badly injured do not try to get up, instead call for help from a family member or a neighbor. If you are alone when a fall happens, slowly crawl to the telephone and call 911 or relatives.