Did you know that more than 75% of falls take place at home? There are some quick and simple changes you can make to help reduce your risk of falling. When assessing your home, remember to pay attention to these three things:
- Good lighting
- Easy access to things used most
You also want to ensure you have THREE POINTS OF CONTACT for whatever you are doing (i.e. getting out of the shower, walking up stairs). This means having two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand in contact with something sturdy.
The front door:
- If you have steps at your front entrance, make sure they are not broken or uneven. Fix damaged steps as soon as possible.
- Make sure entryways are well lit so you can see where you are walking.
- Consider installing a grab bar to help with balance.
- Organize your commonly used items, such as plates, cups, bowls, and even seasonings, within reach. This will help you avoid using a step stool to reach higher items.
- Scatter rugs are tripping hazards, so replace any with rubber backed rugs that will stay in place.
- Clean up spills right away.
- Keep stairs free of clutter.
- Add strips of colored tape to on the edges of each step to help you visualize the stairs better.
- Have lighting at the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Add a second handrail to help with balance.
- Check your lighting, but don't change lightbulbs yourself. Ask family members, friends or neighbors to help you.
- Ensure the light near the bed is easy to reach.
- Keep the path from the bed to the bathroom clear of clutter and well lit.
- Consider installing a bedrail to provide support while getting in and out of bed.
- Keep the phone at arm's reach of your bed.
- Add a non-slip rubber mat to the shower, as the traction will help prevent slipping.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and tub. Remember that towel racks are not proper grab bars.
Have you made other changes to your home that we didn't mention? Please share them with us!
Source: National Council on Aging
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