Because 60% of falls happen in your home, it’s a good idea to improve the safety of your environment. By simply making some simple changes in your lifestyle as well as the living area of your home you can “fall proof” your surroundings to prevent dangerous falls. Let’s look at some of the best ways to make your home safe for everyone of all ages.
High Traffic Areas
You should address some of the clutter that you have around the house. Remove all baskets, books, and other items that you have placed on the floor near high traffic areas. You’ll want to notice the things that can cause trips or slips while you’re moving from one location to another inside your home. If you use throw rugs remove them immediately and replace them will non-slip rugs; you can also use tape with double-sides to attach them safely to your floors.
Keep your furniture spaced so that you have enough room to walk through your home without bumping into things. Make sure that pillows remain on the furniture and not beside it on the floor where you can easily trip. If you use a coffee table place it where you have plenty of room to sit and stand properly.
It’s very important to have proper lighting throughout your home and on the outside as well. You should have light switches for your stairs at the top and bottom of the staircase. Have a good lamp beside your bed and a flashlight within easy reach should the power go off during the night. Each room should have enough lighting by using high wattage light bulbs recommended for your lighting fixtures. Outside your home you should have lighting along walkways, on the porch, and around your garage; it’s important to be able to see where you are going especially in the dark. Lighting is an excellent way to help prevent falls.
Grab Bars and Hand Rails
Installing grab bars around your toilet and shower or bath tub area also helps to prevent falls. Make sure that they are attached securely and use them regularly. Having a steady grab bar to assist you with sitting down and getting up can prevent a nasty fall in the bathroom. For all stairways both inside and outside your home, have handrails on both sides so that you can use them for extra safety. If you’re carrying a package up or down the steps, be sure to notice where you are stepping and move carefully and slowly.
If you don’t have to go outside during snowy or icy conditions it’s best to remain inside for your own safety. If going outside is a must make sure that you’re wearing good boots, that the walkway has been cleared, and that you use sand or salt to keep the surface from freezing.
Taking just a few steps to maintain a safe environment both inside and outside your home can prevent falls that require a hospital stay or extensive treatment or therapy.