A simple fall can change your life. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can lead to moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures or head injuries. Fortunately, there are simple home safety tasks and modifications you can do to help prevent falls.
Follow the tips below and make sure your home is a safe one!
Home Safety Tips
- Don’t rush when doing a task. Accidents are more likely to occur when you are in a hurry.
- When changing positions, such as standing from a sitting position, count to 15 before starting to walk.
- Wear supportive shoes that have low heels and rubber soles: smooth-soled shoes, slippers or only wearing socks can increase your chances of falling.
- Make sure dresses, nightgowns and trousers are short enough in length to avoid tripping over them when walking. Also, be sure to roll back long, loose sleeves or fasten them with pins when cooking.
- Do you take four or more medications daily? Multiple medications can cause dizziness, drowsiness and balance problems. It is important to have all of your medications reviewed at least once a year by a pharmacist or doctor.
- Have your vision checked regularly/annually. Wear glasses as advised by your eye doctor.
- Have you or those around you noticed a change in your hearing? Dizziness can occur with hearing loss. Set up an appointment to have your hearing checked.
- Have daily contact with a family member, friend and/or neighbor. Also, consider having a home alert system installed.
Home Safety Modifications
- Move bedside items/tables closer and arrange the room so that there is a direct path in/out and to the bathroom.
- Place night-lights in all bedrooms and bathrooms. Use night-lights that turn on automatically as the room becomes dark. Always keep a charged flashlight near your bed for emergencies.
- Consider using a shower chair, tub-mounted grab bars and raised toilet seats with hand rails to assist with sitting and standing, hand-held shower attachment or wearing “aqua shoes.”
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on the shower floor.
- Store commonly used items on shelves that are easy for you to reach. If you must reach overhead, keep a sturdy stool handy.
- Eliminate throw rugs, if possible. If necessary, use rugs with a nonskid backing or add double-sided carpet tape around edges.
- Install handrails on both sides of the steps. They should run the full length of the steps.
- Mark the top and bottom steps for better visibility with bright contrasting tape or paint.
- Be sure stairs are well-lit and light bulbs are checked regularly to be in working order. Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs.
- Install sturdy handrails for all steps or, if necessary, a ramp with handrails.
- Also, make sure your porch has proper lighting and consider fixing uneven sideways/pathways.
Watch this informative video on home safety: