While “home” is supposed to be a safe space for everyone, for seniors, it can be a stage for falls and subsequent serious injury. Taking a wrong step could result in a hip fracture, cut, and even a brain injury, and could also be psychologically traumatizing enough to force you to avoid certain areas of your house. Because of this, taking small measures to help diminish the risk of falling at home is a necessity. Read on to learn how you can safeguard your home to prevent falls.
If you live in a house that is more than one-story tall and must access all levels of your home, make sure to equip your stairs with nonslip treads and handrails for both sides of your stairway. This assistive equipment will make the trek up and down the stairs more manageable and safer.
Electrical and phone cords that run through the middle of walkways or rooms present dangerous tripping hazards for those at risk of falling. Remove these hazards by rearranging your cords so that they are out of way and not blocking your walking path.
Attempting to navigate your home in near or complete darkness could easily result a trip, bump and fall. Reduce the risk of this scenario by keeping your home brightly lit. Examine your home to find areas that are dimly lit and install more lighting in those areas. In addition, place a lamp within reach of your bed for nighttime needs and store flashlights in easy-to-access areas in case of a power outage.
Many home kitchens are built with shelving and cabinetry that can be hard to access for most people. Make sure you don’t slip and fall trying to access items in these tall storage areas by placing your kitchen necessities on easy-to-reach areas.
Ensure that your bathmat is non-slip, that there are easily accessible handles or railings installed in your bathroom, and that your bathroom is cleaned regularly to avoid slippery soap buildup.
Taking the steps listed above will help you reduce the risk of falling, but you should still have a plan in place in case a fall does occur. Having access to a medical alert system and a fall detection pendant could help greatly if you do fall.