Keeping your independence is closely related to staying healthy and preventing falls in your home. After all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls are the number one cause of injuries in seniors. Sometimes, these falls can’t be prevented. You simply lose your balance and slip. Other times, you trip and fall over obstacles or don’t have proper railing installed. These falls can and should be prevented. Follow the tips below to reduce your risk of falling in your home and ensure you keep your independence for as long as possible:
- Remove Clutter: Keep your home neat and tidy, free from stacks of magazines, newspapers, etc. This is especially important in walkways, stairways and/or hallways.
- Install Handrails and/or Grab Bars: Install handrails and/or grab bars in showers, by the toilet, in stairways, hallways, etc. Anytime you have to get up and down, in and out, especially when water is involved and surfaces become slippery, make sure there is a handrail, grab bar nearby.
- Wear Shoes: Though walking around in socks might feel good, it can cause you to slip. Therefore, make sure you wear shoes, with grips on the soles, even inside to prevent slips.
- Light it Up: Not being able to see well enough can result in a slip or fall. After all, if you can’t see where you are walking, you might miss an obvious obstacle and take a fall, so make sure all the walkways in and around your home are properly illuminated. This could mean you install additional lighting or install brighter, more powerful bulbs in existing lights.
- Remove Area/Runner Rugs: Rugs are beautiful, but they can cause all sorts of tripping hazards. Therefore, it’s a good idea to remove them altogether.
- Wear Properly Fitting Clothes: You might underestimate the importance what you wear has on your risk of falling. However, if your clothing hangs loosely on your body, a sleeve or part of your shirt can become tangled or caught in something and result in a fall. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure you clothing fits your body properly and no fabric is hanging free.
- Go Nonslip: Consider installing non slip mats in your kitchen and bathroom, anywhere that has the tendency to get wet.
- Move to a One Level Home: If possible, consider moving to a home that only has one level. Stairs can be problematic, even with all the safety options you can install. Taking the stairs away altogether can be a smart idea.
- Slow Down: It might be common sense but often just taking your time when moving from one place to the other can make the difference between safely navigating your environment and a fall. Take your time and reduce your risk of a fall.
- Invest in a Good Fall Detection System: If the worst should happen and you do fall, having a good fall detection system in place is advantageous. A fall detection system will alert the proper authorities and get help sent your way quickly. Complete this form to get more information on the various medical alert systems available that could provide this needed protection.
Make the changes listed above to transform your home into a safer environment, reducing your risk of a slip or fall.