A growing number of seniors are realizing that there is no place they would rather live than the home they have grown fond of. However, the house that was once a haven can become a potential hazard for falls as we get older.
Following are just a few tips on how to reduce the risk of falls at home:
- Move chairs, coffee tables and other furniture to create safe pathways.
- Clear pathways of electrical and phone cords, newspapers, boxes, etc.
- Secure loose rugs, to prevent tripping, with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backing.
- Store dishes, food, clothing and other daily necessities in easy reach.
- Repair loose wooden floorboards and carpeting.
- Place nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower and nonslip treads on bare wood steps.
- Improve lighting–as sensitivity to light decreases with age–to decrease the risk of tripping and falling.
- Locate night lights in the bedroom, hallways and bathroom and place a lamp by the bed within easy reach in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.
- Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs so you can switch on lights before going up or down. Consider installing illuminated switches.
- Use assistive devices to make everyday tasks easier and safer, such as grab bars mounted inside and just outside the shower or bathtub, a raised toilet seat, and a shower chair in the shower or tub.
Let us know if you have other helpful tips to make homes safer for seniors!