How to Prevent Falls at Home

How to Prevent Falls at Home

According to statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, thirty-five to forty percent of people over 65 years of age seek medical attention resulting from a fall at least once a year. While fall risks cannot be completely eliminated, a few practical steps can be taken to minimize those risks in the home.

1. Proper Lighting

Every room should have a light or light switch at each entryway, so no one needs to enter a dark room. Nightlights should be used to illuminate paths from the bed to the bathroom, kitchen, or any other place in the home that may need accessed during the night.

2. Uncluttered Walkways

Walkways should be clear of electric cords, pet toys, or any other trip hazards.

3. Appropriate Floor Surfaces

All carpets or rugs should be flat and stay in place. Rugs that slip should be replaced or secured in place by carpet tacks or carpet tape. Any spills on smooth floor surfaces should be cleaned up promptly.

4. Easy Phone Access

Multiple phones should be spread in strategic places around the home, so no one needs to hurry to a phone to answer a call.

5. Suitable Footwear

Supportive rubber-soled shoes should be worn.

6. Safe Stairways

Sturdy handrails should be installed at stairways, even if only one or two steps are involved. Uneven or loose steps should be repaired promptly. All steps should have non-slip surfaces and be well lighted.

7. Appropriate Chairs

Chairs should be sturdy and have armrests that make it easy to stand up.

8. Sturdy Furniture

Furniture, especially near any walkways, should be sturdy enough to support the weight of anyone who may need to reach out to steady themself or stop a fall.

9. Organized Closets and Cabinets

Items which need to be accessed with any regularity should be placed where they can be reached safely.

10. Properly Equipped Bathrooms

A non-slip tub or shower surface is essential, as well as strategically-place handrails near the toilet and bath.

11. Appropriate Eyewear

Eyeglasses, if needed, should be worn consistently and be readily available next to the bed and sitting areas.

Need Help? Contact Sonas Home Health Care

Falls can happen under the best of conditions, but we can eliminate a number of risks by using common sense and a bit of planning. As our fall risk increases with age or illness, we need to develop special safety awareness and adjust our habits accordingly. We need to see our environment through new eyes, being deliberately conscious of factors that can precipitate a fall. It is okay to let the phone ring or let the person at the door wait while we take our time to respond safely. It is okay to ask for help more often than we otherwise would.