According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65+. One-third of seniors 65 years and older fall each year.
Since over half of falls happen at home, here are preventive measures for the home that are simple and effective:
- Light up your home environment. This includes placing night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways. Make sure also you have a clear path to light switches especially those hard to reach switches. Place a flashlight in an easy assessible area in several locations.
- DeClutter: Keep clutter in the home to a minimum.
- Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
- Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
- Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home.
- Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
- Out-of-reach items: Keep objects in your home at a level you can easily and safely reach. Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
- Repair trip hazards: Repair cracks in sidewalks in front of buildings and homes: Be alert and use caution; also inform someone so that they can repair them in compliance with the safe public access laws. Also watch for raised sidewalks due to overgrown tree roots.
- Small pets: Be aware of pets that get underfoot and may cause a fall.
- Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food to avoid slippery conditions.
- Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower. Use a bath seat, which allows you to sit while showering. Add grab bars inside and outside of your bathtub or shower and next to the toilet.