All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for December 2003

Keep Those Feet Planted

Follow these simple tips to avoid falls

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December 2, 2003
Pat V Timberlake
Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis

I DID IT AGAIN TODAY!

Transferring from my wheelchair to my bed, I tumbled to the floor. I had yet another fall. Many of us with MS will experience falls. In 1996, 14,986 deaths in the United States resulted from a fall. Additionally, many others experienced less serious falls, such as mine, that weren't reported.

Most falls are accidental, caused by slippery ice, an unexpected curb step, a wet floor, or a new prescription. The good news is that many falls are preventable.

Lauro Halstead, MD, clinician and researcher at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC, is the director of the Spinal Cord Injury and Post-Polio Program. He reminds us that, "Many people fall on their steps or in the bathroom. These falls are particularly dangerous because of the hard surfaces and sharp corners."

Because falls are common for those of us with MS, and many are preventable, you should inspect your home for things that could cause you to lose your balance and fall.

Tips to Help Avoid Falls

Kitchen

Bathroom Bedroom Throughout the house "If you effect changes like these," said occupational therapist Jean Hietpas, "you won't spend as much time looking for the things you need. Paths will be cleared; clutter will be diminished."

Prevention steps can be taken easily to make your home a safer place. Falls can be embarrassing, traumatic, and injurious.

After a fall-or better yet, before a fall-check and correct potential hazards in your home. Prevent the falls that you can, and adopt the adage: "I get up.. .1 walk.. .1 fall down.. .Meanwhile. . .1 keep dancing.

In 1996, 14,986 deaths in the United States resulted from a fall.
 

Copyright © 2003, Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis