Details for Ask the Professional 4/14

ask a Professional Sarah Pettyjohn, PT, DPT Q: The balance exercises you talked about seem like they won’t take effect for a long time. Is there anything I can do in the meantime to prevent falls? A: Many people are injured by falling in their homes every year and it is a big problem! Here are several things you can do to prevent falls at home. Pets are wonderful companions, but they can also get underfoot. If your pet tends to hang out right by your feet or bump into you, it can increase your risk of falling. Consider keeping pets in a room where you usually only sit, such as the living room. You can use baby gates or body leashes to keep them out of the kitchen and bathroom and off the stairs. Throw rugs and area rugs can buckle or have edges that roll up to catch your feet, creating a tripping hazard. It’s best to remove uninstalled, unsecured rugs. We rely on our vision to help keep our balance and walking in a dark room can increase the risk of falling. Add light to areas in your home where you walk after dark, such as stairs or hallways. Slipping and falling in your bathroom can be very dangerous. Bathroom floors can become slippery from water and steam. Use nonslip mats on the bathroom floor and in the shower and tub and install grab bars. Loose footwear can twist or slide off your feet and cause you to trip and socks can be slippery. Wear supportive shoes, such as sneakers, around your house: they have good traction and prevent sliding on the floor. To avoid tracking dirt into your house, you can have a clean pair that you only wear when inside. Sundog Rehabilitation, llC Serving Rapid Valley and Custer locations! 605-787-2719 www.sundogrehab.com - Most Insurance Accepted

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