Every year thousands of seniors fall, more times than not, the fall happens in a home setting. There are many cases where people are stuck for hours or days because they have fallen and cannot get up.
Let’s all make changes in our homes to prevent falls, to protect you, the people who live with you and your guests, before it to the point where we have fallen and can’t get up.
Risk areas to consider when decreasing your home’s risk of falls are the floors, stairs and steps, and hallways.
- Make sure your furniture is rearranged so that there is a clear path to enter and exit rooms.
- If you have rugs or carpet on the floor use double sided tape so the rug doesn’t slip or have a non-slip backing.
- Pick up things that are on the ﬂoor and move them out of the way. Examples are shoes, paper, bags, and umbrellas. Always keep objects off the ﬂoor.
- If you have to walk over or around wires or cords (like lamp, telephone, or extension cords) consider taping or coiling cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them.
STAIRS AND STEPS: (both inside and outside your home)
- Pick up things and objects off the stairs, remembering to always keep the stairs clear.
- Fix broken, lose or uneven steps and torn carpet on steps as well as loose or broken handrails.
- Ensure that there is sufficient lighten in the stairway. If not have an electrician put in a light at the top and bottom of the stairs. Also ensure you have a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Rearrange the items in your cabinets so that the things you use often on the lower, easier to reach shelves. When it is necessary to use a step stool to reach high shelves, use a stool with a bar to hold on to. Avoid using a chair or anything rocky or slippery.
- In your bath tub or shower, put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the ﬂoor of the tub or shower to reduce slips.
- Add grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet, for extra safety.
Other Things You Can Do to Prevent Falls:
- Ensure that you exercise regularly because exercise helps make you stronger along with increasing your balance and coordination.
- Be careful of the medications that you use. Talk to your doctor or pharmacists about all the medications you take to ensure you can take certain medications with others.
- Check your vision at least once a year by an eye doctor because poor vision can increase your risk of falling.
- Add lighting to dark areas. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
Remember that preventing a fall is done before you fall and can’t get up. Take the time to make your home a safer place to live.