A Guide for Patients Having Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation

How to prevent falls at home

As our age increases, so does our risk of falling. Follow the tips below to help reduce your risk of falling.

  • Pace yourself. Walk with intention and be mindful of your movements.
  • Mind your feet. Wear indoor shoes or slippers that have closed heels, closed toes, and a non-slip rubberized sole. Make sure your shoes fit well so they aren’t going to fall off your feet and become a tripping hazard.
  • Clear the clutter. Keep high traffic areas free from obstacles by removing or securing loose electrical cords, unnecessary small furniture and general clutter. Get rid of any loose rugs or scatter mats, which are common tripping hazards.
  • Hold on. Use walking aids like a cane or walker, or install grab-bars if you need additional support. Unlike the furniture and walls, walking aids will help you get the grip you need to support your body.
  • Practice safe hygiene. Prevent slipping and sliding by wiping up spills immediately and using a non-slip bathmat on the floor inside and outside your bathtub. Install grab-bars in your bathtub or beside your toilet for additional support. If balance and fatigue is an issue, you may want to consider using a bath chair and handheld shower head that will let you sit while you’re bathing.
  • Take one step at a time. Hold on to the railing when climbing the stairs even if you think you can do without. Try installing a second handrail for additional support, or use a cane in one hand and the handrail with the other to climb the stairs. Increase the visibility of your stairs by putting coloured tape on the edge of each step to clearly differentiate one from the other.
  • Look around. Make sure your rooms, hallways and stairways have adequate lighting so you can see the objects and walking path around you. Use a nightlight to help guide you in the middle of the night. Even with the right lighting, it’s tough to safely navigate around your home if your eyesight is poor. Make sure your eyes get tested regularly and use corrective eyewear if you need them.
  • Conserve your energy. Eating nutritious meals will help you keep your strength and balance throughout the day. Conserve your energy by taking frequent rest breaks, sitting to complete activities, and placing commonly used items within easy reach to avoid bending and overhead lifting. Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep.

For more information about falls prevention or to participate in a falls prevention program, speak to your physican about programs that may be available to you. Programs may include consultations by a licensed physical or occupational therapist, exercise classes and home assessments.