Is your home properly equipped for your wellbeing?
Are you aware of the hazards in the home for people with all levels of mobility and physical capability?
The home environment presents many physical hazards usually disguised as tasks which may seem simple or menial. For those who spend a prolonged amount of time in their homes due to an illness or condition, PhysioCare offers a Home Visit Service whereby one of our Chartered Physiotherapists can come to your home to provide you with physiotherapy treatment and also to assess any potential hazards in the home. Three such hazards are listed below.
Sitting, Standing and Furnishings
For those who have trouble on their feet and need support moving around, a hazard may present itself through a lack of furnishing or incorrect use of furnishings in certain places. If for example a person finds difficulty rising from a chair and they use the chair itself to hoist themselves up from it; it must be ensured that the chair will not give way or break from this constant application of pressure. In instances like this, a mobility aid may be more advisable and preferred. Similarly if a person has difficulty walking around their house, they may have to rest for a few minutes by leaning on any nearby furniture or a wall. Again this is not advisable because furniture may give way and a person may slide from a wall. The acknowledgment of these factors is what would be classed as falls prevention.
While it is estimated that we take up to and over ten-thousand steps a day, it is worth remembering that these steps are taken on a multitude of surfaces. Outside we have concrete, gravel, grass and sand while inside we have wood, tiles, carpet and laminate. If we next imagine a staircase at home, our body is presented the unique challenge of continuously traversing the changing direction (either up or down) which becomes like an obstacle course for the body to deal with. Our feet acting as shock absorbers take the brunt of our body weight and pressure while we are carried by our legs and spine. This is repeated step by step until we reach the top/bottom of the stairs. If one suffers from a foot condition such as plantar fasciitis or flat feet, the act of traversing stairs is a significant and persistent aggravating factor as it negatively affects the entire biomechanical process of movement.
Opening and Closing a Window
Again while this is a simple task, the implications it can have can affect your physical health. Sports players or gym enthusiasts for example may have a miniscule muscle or tendon tear as a result of their active activities. If this is in the shoulder or upper arm area and they reach upwards to push open a window at home, the force can worsen the tear this causing pain. In a similar vein, those with genetic, lifestyle or age related ailments such as arthritis or low back pain risk increasing their pain and worsening their condition by struggling to get to hard to reach places that their condition prevents them from completing with ease. These implications are known as aggravating factors.
PhysioCare offers a Home Visit Service whereby one of our Chartered Physiotherapists can come to your or a loved ones home to provide physiotherapy treatment for a period of 45 minutes. As part of this treatment, the physiotherapist can assess your home for any potential hazards and assist with solutions for falls prevention as well as implementing a treatment plan with the aim to help you get and feel better and lead a pain free life.