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Friday 13 July 2012

Falls Awareness - prevention is better than cure

Accidents are a real pain
There’s a very good reason why preventing accidents and educating people to the dangers of potential slip, trip and fall hazards, has become a personal mission for me – and that reason is pain! 

My pain came from having tripped over a carelessly abandoned door wedge where I worked many years ago, and slipping two discs – definitely not an experience I’d recommend.

Cluttered staircase
Photo published with kind permission of
an anonymous Rainbow Red client
But actually something more dramatic happened around the same time that was equally life-changing – it didn’t happen to me, but it affected me greatly. 

The elderly father of a colleague fell down the stairs at his home, and died - which is very sad and bad enough.  What was worse was - how can I put this delicately..... there was a lot of cleaning do afterwards. 

Utterly tragic, and a situation no one wants to be or hopefully should ever be in. 

This might all sound very shocking, but sometimes shock treatment can be an effective way of getting people to change their bad habits: think heart attack > change in eating or exercising habits.

I'm sure this all influenced my decision to became a professional declutterer and organiser, and why I'm so keen to help hoarders or people who have piles of newspapers or clutter in their home. 

Most of us have met people who gamble with their lives – and sometimes also the lives of other people - every day by leaving objects on the stairs or in walkways where they can easily trip over them. 

For an elderly person who falls over, there's not only a high risk of hitting their head or breaking hips/shoulders/arms (and all the pain and disruption that goes with it); there's a real and potentially life-threatening risk of not being able to get up. And sadly - if they live alone - there's also a real risk that by the time someone finds them, it could be too late to help them....

Thank you in advance
So, if you ever happen to be walking around a supermarket and see someone loitering around spilt milk or spaghetti strewn across the aisle, it’s probably me stopping people from walking across the spillage whilst waiting for an assistant to mop/sweep it up!

And if you’re the supermarket assistant that I come to report the incident to, thank you in advance for clearing up the mess and helping to prevent a potentially painful injury.  And - based on my own experience - hopefully saving someone a fortune in physiotherapist/osteopath/ chiropractor bills!