Six out of every 10 falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety. Many of these falls could be prevented by making simple changes.
Below are some simple steps that you can take to help reduce falls among older adults as well as adults with disabilities in your community.
• Grab bars in bathroom and next to outside steps or inside thresholds
• Install firm stair railings on both sides of stairways
• Set automatic lights over stairways and by outside entrances
• Cover home entryway and provide a table to sit bags on while finding keys
• Fall alarm systems that are motion triggered without hitting a button
• Raised toilet seats or install higher toilets in the home
• Replace multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses
• Small flashlights to attach to key chains, hats, and coat buttons
• Use an easy to carry water bottle to promote staying well hydrated.
Go4Life has the following tips to help you reduce your risk of falling:
- Remove anything that could cause you to trip or slip while walking. Clutter, small furniture, pet bowls, electrical or phone cords, and throw rugs can cause falls.
- Arrange furniture so you have plenty of room to walk freely. Also, remove items from stairs and hallways.
- Secure carpets to the floor and stairs. Use non-slip rugs, or attach rugs to the floor with double-sided tape.
- Avoid wet floors, and clean up spills right away. Use only non-skid wax on your waxed floors.
- Use non-slip items in the bathroom. Put non-slip strips or a rubber mat on the floor of your bathtub or shower.
- Make sure you have enough lighting in each room, on stairs, at entrances, and on outdoor walkways. Use light bulbs that have the highest wattage recommended for the fixture.
- Use the handrails on your stairs. When you carry something up or down the stairs, hold the item in one hand and use the handrail with the other.
- Place a lamp next to your bed along with night lights in the bathroom, hallways, and kitchen. Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power goes out and you need to get up at night.
- Stay physically active. Lower-body strength and balance exercises can help prevent falls.