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How to Lessen Fears of Falling: Advice From Top Fall Prevention Expert Thom Disch

Home Blog How to Lessen Fears of Falling: Advice From Top Fall Prevention Expert Thom Disch

It was Easter afternoon and Joy, 70, was enjoying herself, spending time with family and her three young grandchildren. It was a day filled with food, fun, and an Easter egg hunt. But as the day ended, the family’s lives were changed forever. As Joy and her husband were leaving, Joy missed the second step on her son’s porch. She fell and broke her right leg. After a month-long stay in the hospital and then a stay at a rehab facility, Joy became sedentary for fear of falling again.

Over the next three years, she became depressed and eventually experienced congestive heart failure several times. As her health declined, she spent her final days in a nursing home.

The Fear of Falling Can Be Dangerously Debilitating

Unfortunately, stories like Joy’s are not uncommon, but they are preventable. A fear of falling can develop after suffering a fall injury or as a person ages, leading one to become less mobile and less social. This lifestyle can also lead to depression from isolation and other health issues. A fear of falling can also actually cause a fall to happen. Being nervous when moving or walking and not using muscles and joints regularly can also cause a fall. By taking early prevention measures, you can reduce your chances of falling and lessen your fears.

Let’s Jump Back to Our Lead Story

What could have been done to help Joy avoid the fall and injury that changed her life? Falls and fall injuries are complicated events. Falls don’t just happen. There are warning signs and actions we can take to minimize the risk of falling. We don’t know enough about the situation to determine the cause of this fall, but we do know what causes most falls, so we can start there. Some of these questions/observations are simply to increase your awareness and make you more cautious. Others require you to take action to make the area safer.

  • As she was leaving, was Joy distracted by events so she did not watch her step?
  • Was Joy on any medications that could have affected her balance?
  • Did Joy consume any alcohol?
  • Was there a slippery spot on the porch steps?
  • Was there a handrail, and if so, was Joy holding onto the handrail when she slipped?
  • What type of shoes was Joy wearing? (Flip flops and high heels are more dangerous.)

As you can see from this list, just a little bit of forethought could have prevented the accident.

Customizing Your Home for Your Safety

First, examine all rooms in your home and outside for fall hazards that can be corrected, and make note of the larger modifications to be made, such as grab bars near your bed or a super pole next to your favorite chair. Removing clutter from the home and keeping items off the floor can also greatly reduce your risk of tripping and falling.

  • Avoiding clutter, keeping items you use daily within arm’s reach, and adding grab bars and non-slip treads in and outside of your home can help reduce chances of falling.
  • Keeping water off the bathroom floor, having night lights, and removing slippery rugs are just a few ways to make your home safer.
  • In Thom Disch’s book Stop the Slip, he has a fall prevention checklist for every room in and outside of your home with safety modification suggestions.
  • Making accommodations to your specifics needs wherever possible will help to keep you safer. Thankfully, accessibility products can now blend in with the decor of any home.

Prevent Slips, Trips, and Fall Injuries With Handi Products 

Where safety meets style, Handi Products has developed a line of slip and fall prevention products to help keep you on your feet with minimal installation and blends in with the decor of any home. 

  • People Treads: This is a translucent non-slip tread that provides traction in multiple areas of the home – the bathroom tile floors, kitchen, utility rooms, campers, and more. It is a simple peel and stick product that helps to keep you on your feet indoors where slick floors are a concern. 
  • Bath Treads and Mats: Adding translucent bath treads in your shower can help reduce your chances of having a slip and fall accident. Traditional bath mats with suction bottoms oftentimes can bubble and become loose, thus creating a more dangerous slip and fall situation than it was originally meant to prevent. The peel and press mats and strips completely adhere to the surface reducing your chances of having a slip and fall accident. 
  • Handi Treads: This is an outdoor solution that is an all-aluminum application that can be easily installed on wood or concrete stairs, boat docks, pathways, and other areas outdoors that could benefit from additional traction help prevent one from slipping and falling down. Easy to install and are lifetime guaranteed. 

Don’t Fall for It. Break the Fear, and Start Living!

We cannot prevent all falls from happening, but taking early prevention measures will help ease concerns. Making small changes over time can help to make a huge impact on your health and safety.

For more tips on how to prevent falls and reducing your fear of falling check out Thom’s book Stop the Slip available on Amazon, and his Stop the Slip Fall Prevention Line of home products to help keep you on your feet.