A simple thing – like a fall – can change your life. If you or an older person you know has fallen, you’re not alone. More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year.
Try to prevent falls and don’t let a fear of falling keep you from being active. Overcoming this fear can help you stay active, maintain your physical health, and prevent future falls. Doing things like getting together with friends, gardening, walking, or going to the senior center helps you stay healthy.
You can make your home safe from falls with just a few basic changes. Consider the following:
- Clean up clutter. The easiest method for preventing falls is to keep your home neat and tidy. Remove all clutter, especially from hallways and staircases.
- Repair or remove tripping hazards. Sometimes home fixtures can contribute to falls. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet, slippery throw rugs, or uneven surfaces. Then repair, remove, or replace those items for more effective fall prevention.
- Install grab bars and handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub without injuring yourself.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing. You want to feel comfortable at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make you more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting clothing that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground.
- Light up your home. Inadequate lighting is another major hazard. To create a home that’s safer, install brighter light bulbs where needed, particularly in stairways and narrow hallways. Consider night-lights in bedrooms and bathrooms for better guidance at night.
- Wear shoes. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Preventing falls at home can be as simple as wearing shoes. You can also purchase non-slip socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if shoes are too uncomfortable.
- Make it nonslip. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms, and porches, can become extremely dangerous when wet. To prevent falls on slick surfaces, consider nonslip mats.
- Move more carefully. People often fall by moving too quickly from a sitting to a standing position. Take your time and pause after going from lying down to sitting and from sitting to standing. Also take a pause before using the railing on stairs, whether going up or down.
Fall prevention means injury prevention. Call At Home In Darien if you would like more information about having a professional conduct a free in-home safety evaluation of your home.