The C-A-R-E Approach to Reducing Falls

C. is for create
A. is for assess
R. is for reduce
E. is for evaluate

Create a safer environment.

* Make sure things are within reach. If you can’t reach it, try getting a grabber reacher. These are available at many stores and cost less than $ 20.
* Ensure that your bed is the right height. You should be able to sit on the edge of the bed and your feet should be able to sit comfortably on the floor.
* Ensure that all rooms are free of clutter. The floor should be free of books, magazines, and other objects.
* Make sure that assistive devices (like walkers and canes) are within easy reach.
* Ensure that there are wide pathways in the house. So you don’t have to around a table or chair to get anywhere.

Assess your fall risk.

Ask yourself these questions?

* Have I fallen within the last 3 months?
* Do I have numerous medical problems?
* Do I use a wheelchair, crutches, or cane?
* Is my gait weak or unsteady?
* Do I take more than 3 prescribed medications a day?
* Am I older than 65?
* Am I occasionally incontinent or have urinary frequencies or urgency?
* Am I occasionally confused or disoriented?
* Do I have trouble seeing or hearing?
* Do I experience numbness or loss of feeling in my legs or arms?
* Am I depressed or have I been told that I am depressed?

There are 11 questions. If you can answer yes to more than 2 then you are a high fall risk.

Reduce your fall risk.

There are four things that you can do to reduce your fall risk.

1. Begin an exercise program. Exercise can improve both balance and coordination. (Always see your doctor before you begin any exercise program).
2. Have your doctor review your medication regimen. Many medications can cause dizziness or sleepiness. Perhaps you can change medications or change the time of day that you take them.
3. Have a vision checkup. Poor vision may increase your risk of falling.
4. Have a home safety review. Ask your friends/family to help you look for items that will increase your fall risk.
a. Replace small throw rugs with ones with non-slip mats.
b. Never go barefoot.
c. Install grab bars in your bathroom.
d. Install nightlights between your bedroom and bathroom.

Evaluate your interventions

Do you feel safer?