- Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians.
- 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year.
- Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations.
- Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.
- 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home.
- Use of oxygen with long extension tubing can increase this risk.
Anyone can fall. But as we age, our risk of falling becomes greater. That’s the bad news. The good news is that falls can be prevented. The first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them. For example, poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around your home can increase your chance of
falling. Staying safe and on your feet when oxygen tubing is in use is a matter of taking some steps to protect yourself.
Reducing your risk of falling with oxygen usage
- Keeping the tube of your oxygen supply away from feet and furniture is the key to fall prevention.
- One technique used to reduce tripping includes keeping the tubing behind you as you walk, particularly up and down stairs. Don’t rush – let the answering machine pick up messages and place a note outside your door asking guests to be patient.
- If you use a walker, crutch(es), or cane to walk, place the tube around your ring finger. This will elevate it away from your feet.
- When turning to sit on furniture, toilet or tub seat, move the tube from your side to directly in front of you. This will enable you to clearly see the tubing when you get up from your seated position.
- Place bright colored tape at 12-inch intervals along the tubing. The bright, contrasting color will alert you to the location of the tube on your floor as you move about.
- Report any falls to your physician.