Fall Prevention at MS Disability Fair

Kevin Turkington with Senior Care of Alaska spoke at the MS Disability Fair and was a very entertaining speaker!

Unfortunately I didn’t think of recording him until he was half way through his ‘Maxine’ pink bathrobe skit! While Kevin demonstrated the hazards of some clothing he shared with us the need to remove rugs or at least tape them down.

Carpets can be re-stretched to avoid the bunches that cause the stumble and trip.

Kevin said falls are the greatest cause of hospitalization for seniors and I know that more than half of people with MS have been injured by a fall . He discussed ways to avoid the fall.

He started with the ‘brown bag test’, suggesting we put all our prescription and Over the Counter (OTC) medications into a lunch bag and bringing them to our Pharmacists to review.

Back-in-the day, Kevin explained, when people saw the doctor he prescribed all the pharmaceuticals needed, knowing the reactions of the different medications. Now-a-days, when we see our primary physician, we’re referred to one or more specialists who may prescribe medications to treat our symptoms.

Many people with MS have at least 4 doctors and are on at least 4 medications prescribed by different doctors. When we look at each of them they read, ‘Caution: may cause dizziness’ or ‘May cause blurred vision’. Many of our falls are due to the medications we take. Kevin illustrated a way to avoid many falls, simply by developing the habit of pausing before we start walking as he shows in his ‘sit, stand, walk’ illustration.

Kevin shared with us many gadgets to help us avoid falling:

A transfer bench is a great precaution while climbing into the shower and you can get a nice Drive Medical Plastic Transfer Bench right here.

Other aids to help us are Grab Bars, Lighted Safety Cane, and Night Lights that hug the wall so we don’t smash into it with our wheelchair or walker.

If we do fall and are hurt, Kevin taught us that minimizing the time before help arrives and making sure we stay warm and hydrated can make the difference on the quality of life following a fall injury. Sometimes it can be a matter of life or death! He then showed us a simple fall survival kit made up of a tote bag containing a fleece blanket and bottle of water. (He threw in a few extra items like some crackers for hunger and a flashlight since our long and dark winters.) Kevin suggested making up several kits and stowing them down low in the areas we spend the most time in. That way if we fall and are hurt, we can possibly drag ourselves to one of the kits. He also showed us how to safely get up from a fall if we are not hurt.

Have you experienced any falls? I’ve fallen too many times in public when the only thing injured was my ego! When there’s no injury, it’s a time to laugh! If I’d put into practice Kevin’s tips, I could have avoided many of my falls.

Linda

About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.

10 Comments:

  1. Very good read, thank you for sharing this. It is one of the most horrible experiences when you’re falling over due to this and you know you are hitting the ground but good to see the different bits of advice given here, makes you remember you are not the only one!

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It made me realize that most of the time, important things are often ignored. Who would have thought that clothing or simple garments that are usually found in our home like tugs and carpet could also cause a health hazard. If not given attention, they may even cause more serious problem that can even be a matter of life and death. And who would have though that a fleece of blanket can be a part of your survival kit?

    • Hailey,
      Isn’t it crazy? We don’t think of the obvious (rugs) until we have to! Yet we laughed about the fleece blanket in class. What should we do, carry a blanket in a backpack in case we fall? They gave away fleece blankets if our name was drawn and I got one! It’s never available when I fall but it makes a great blanket for my daily nap! Heehee

  3. Prevention is better than cure. Our life is our own responsibility so we must always after our own safety. MS can be a very serious health problems if taken for granted. If there’s such thing we can do to not let it happen, then we must into it. I mean there’s always a saying, prevention is better than cure, right? And if you are an unfortunate victim of MS or any health problems that might come your way like Cancers or Diabetes, which is the most risky illness that kills many, try to see a doctor as urgent as possible to avoid the worst thing that could happen to your health. It is much better if there is someone you could always ask for help on it. Like this article from Linda. This could be a new start to be more aware of your own health.

    • Steven,
      I thank you for saying so! I never really understood the responsibility we have for our health. I figured the American way of life was good enough~ oh was I wrong! Now I’m living like I should have been my entire life!
      Linda

  4. “The first wealth is health. ” That’s why we must aware in the food we eat and even the things that can cause trouble to our health.
    People with MS usually have trouble with their balance and often fall and injured themselves that is why we must aware some clothing or simple garments because it can cause an accident.

  5. You have a great points here. It’s very meaningful and I got the idea that you are trying to imply. Injuries caused by falling really hurt but being optimistic at things sometimes make us learn a lesson, that we should avoid those objects that will make us fall. In life, if we fall, it is very important that we always know how to get up and learn that next time we should avoid those obstacles so that we will not slip again.

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