Older Couple

5 Simple Ways to Fall-Proof Your Home

According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries for people ages 65 and older. One in 4 Americans fall every year. More than 75 percent of these falls take place inside or close to the home.

These falls can result in a number of injuries, including hip fractures, broken bones and head injuries. Aside from the physical toll falls can have on older adults, they also can create an anxiety about falling.

Reducing the risk of falls can prevent injury and keep older adults active and independent. Most falls can be prevented by creating a safe living space in the home.

Here are five simple steps to help fall-proof your home:

  1. Use Proper Lighting - Make sure the interior and exterior of the home are well-lit. it is especially important to have adequate lighting at entryways and stairways to have good visibility so you can see where you are stepping.
  2. Remove Tripping/Slipping Hazards - Keep pathways clutter-free and remove any tripping and slipping hazards. Make sure all pathways in and around your home are clear. Keep all items off of stairs. Fix any uneven or wobbly steps to make sure they are stable. Make sure all rugs are placed securely on the floor with all corners and edges flat. Add non-slip rubber mats in showers and bathtubs.
  3. Have Easy Access to Items You Use Often - Keep your most commonly used items within reach. Place kitchen items on the lowest shelves to avoid using a step stool or chair. Have the within easy reach, but make sure the cords are not in your pathway.
  4. Get an Extra Grip - Install grab bars and handrails, as they can help you safely move up and down stairs, on and off the toilet, and in and out of the bathtub and shower. Adding a bed-rail may be helpful for times when you go from lying, sitting or standing and the change of position may make you dizzy.
  5. Wear Good Footwear - Socks and slippers can pose a risk. Wear nonslip shoes or nonslip socks with grips on the soles.