Make Your Home Chronic ITP-Friendly

When you have chronic immune thrombocytopenia (cITP), you have to take extra care not to injure yourself.

This can start at home. Think about design choices to make daily living easier and safer. You’ll want to do what you can to cut down on the risk of falling, tripping, or running into hard objects.

An occupational therapist can give you ideas for your particular living space.

There are some easy ways you can get started, both inside and outside your home.

In the House

Make sure you have enough light to see well while moving about, particularly near stairs or at night for trips between the bed and toilet. You can try plug-in night-lights or motion-activated ones.

Keep hallways and your typical routes clear of things like toys, magazines, clothing, and books. Clean up spills as soon as possible.

Fix or replace spots in your carpets or rugs that are worn down or have loose threads or holes. Secure rugs and mats, including those in the bathroom, by using adhesive strips so they don't make you slip.

Chairs and beds should be easy to get up from and down into. Stay away from things with sharp corners. Make sure furniture is placed so it’s easy to walk around without bumping into it.

Grab rails are a must in the bathroom since towel rods aren’t strong enough to hold you up if you slip.

Keep stairs well lit. If there isn’t a rail nearby, put one in near the steps.

Make sure you have fire extinguishers that are easy to reach. These will help you avoid a fall during an emergency. Make sure your smoke alarms are always in working order, too.

When it comes to clothes, make sure the things you wear aren’t long enough to make you trip. Go barefoot or wear shoes instead of just socks or slippers.

Stay clear of alcohol. Drinking can make it more difficult for your blood clot, so avoid it if you have cITP.

When using a knife, wear gloves.

Ask your doctor about any new medicines, supplements, herbal remedies, or vitamins. Some of these can also affect your platelets and raise your chance of bleeding.

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Outside the House

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, always keep these things in mind to lower your chance of falls:

  • Keep your garden tools tidy.
  • Make sure your paths are well swept and lit.
  • Repair uneven or broken concrete where you walk.
  • Add rails to stairways.
  • Take plants off garden paths that can be slippery when wet.
  • Mark the leading edge of steps so they’re easy to spot.
  • Wear sunglasses or a hat to avoid glare.
  • Avoid using ladders, and ask for help if you need to reach something high up.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on May 06, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: “Thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).”

Better Health: “Older People-Preventing Falls at Home.”

National Safety Council: “Fall-Prevention Measures Can Keep Older Adults Independent.”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Immune Thrombocytopenia.”

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