Wednesday, September 9, 2015

"Sometimes Falls Just Happen"

This is "Falls Prevention Month," and we want to focus on eliminating as many possible tripping, collision, and poor footing conditions for people as we can - including those present in our own homes. Nevertheless, falls do happen so just think how much more they might occur or how much more serious or debilitating they might be if we weren't focused on preventing and eliminating as many potential trips and falls as we can.

There are just so many things in and about a person's home - let alone places away from the home - when accidents can happen. All falls and slips are uncomfortable - if not embarrassing - but not all are injurious. Many are. Sometimes it's just a slip or a fall that produces no lasting effects - maybe just a bruise or a light muscle strain, if anything. Sometimes, the strain or sprain can be a little more severe. Sometimes, a broken bone or dislocation results.

Regardless of the severity of a fall or slip, the objective is to eliminate as many potential causes for such conditions as we can. There are the obvious ones such as extension or power cords that cross a passageway, or a hose stretched across the sidewalk. There are pools of water from rain or lawn and garden watering that can look simple enough to walk on or through but become problematic.

Toys, clothing and outerwear, tools, groceries before they are put away, and things on their way to the garage, attic, closet, basement, or car can cause someone to trip over them or misstep as they try to walk around or avoid them.

Look carpeting or flooring, tears in carpeting or vinyl flooring, glare from shiny surfaces, and loose throw or area rugs (or ones with the corners curled up) can present navigation issues in the home. Wet flooring in the bathroom or from moisture tracked in from the outside (near exterior doorways) can lead to slips.

In short, the idea that someone's home is their castle or sanctuary comes with no guarantees. It isn't automatically true. There are so many things going on - nearly constantly - that we need to watch out for and then correct to keep our homes relatively safe. Then we need to take those lessons and apply them to our clients homes.

Safety is not an easy proposition - necessary, but not easy.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © Steve Hoffacker.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Make Sure Fall Is Without Falls"

Fall weather is quickly approaching - so is that beautiful fall color we wait for all year. Football and school are both back also.

September is "Falls Prevention Month" so as we begin fall, let's make sure that the only type of fall we are talking about is the weather - not one where someone is potentially injured.

Falls aren't limited to the elderly, but it seems to be more disastrous and longer lasting (even traumatic) when it happens to people who aren't quite as physically prepared to rebound well from an accidental fall.

Falls and falls prevention relate back to personal safety - how well someone's home or apartment allows them to exist within it safely. Are the passageways open to permit free movement? Is the space comfortable? Are there obstacles that restrict mobility, storage that is out in the open rather than put away, general clutter, or just too much stuff that is accumulating everywhere?

Whether it is our personal residence, that of a parent or other loved one, a neighbor or someone else we know, or one that we have been retained to improve, we have a huge responsibility. As aging-in-place specialists, remodelers, OTs and PTs, designers, builders, real estate sales professionals, and others knowledgeable about interior space utilizattion, we know the danger that clutter generates. General busyness of patterns and furniture, too much glare, and lack of contrast also contribute to potential falls.

Restricted access and passage, dizzying patterns, not enough light, and glare that hides surfaces or creates the illusion of wetness are dangers that we cannot afford to let exist as long as we have some say in correcting them. This is our challenge - for our own residences, for our relatives and friends, and for our clients.

Let's take "Falls Prevention Month" as a reminder that this is a top priority all year (and not just September) - creating and maintaining safe, comfortable, convenient, ancd accessible dwellings for everyone that we have the ability to do so.

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Learn about my new home sales training programs, or aging-in-place/universal design classes and programs by visiting my website at stevehoffacker.com, or call 561-685-5555. © Steve Hoffacker.