Parkinson's Disease

PD and Preventing Falls

Falls are a recurrent complication of Parkinson’s disease, that’s why preventing falls is very important. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk for falls, the two most important are to work with your doctor to warrant that your treatments are ideal and to confer with a physical therapist who can evaluate your walking and balance. The physical therapist is the true expert here when it comes to endorsing assistive devices or exercises to keep you safe.

If you or a loved one suffers from PD, here are some helpful tips for preventing falls:

1. Floors. Remove loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Clean up the clutter. Check to see if rugs are anchored and smooth. Keep furniture in the same place.

2. Bathroom. Install grab bars and nonskid tape in shower and/or tub. Use nonskid bath mats on the floor or wall-to-wall carpeting.

3. Lighting. Keep halls, stairways, and entrances well lit. Keep a night light in your bathroom or hallway. Make sure there is a light switch at the top and bottom of the staircase if you have one. If you get up in the middle of the night make sure to turn on the lights. Make sure lamps or light switches are close to your bed if you have to get up in the middle of the night.

4. Kitchen. Install nonskid rubber mats near your appliances. Clean up spills as soon as you can.

5. Stairs. Check to see if treads, rails, and rugs are secure. Install a rail on both sides of the stairs (if you have them). If stairs are a threat, try to arrange most of your activities on the lower level to diminish the number of times stairs must be climbed.

6. Entrances and doorways. Install metal handles on the walls adjacent to doorknobs of all doors for your security as you travel through the doorway.

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