According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults. About 1 in 3 seniors falls each year. Many of these falls could be prevented by doing a few simple things to make our homes more “fall proof.” Here are a few things you can do:
1. Remove or secure anything that could cause you to trip. Avoid leaving clutter on the floors or stairs. Ensure that electrical and phone cords aren’t stretched across walkways or that they are secured in some way.
2. Install handrails and lights on all staircases. Place non-slip strips on stairs.
3. Make sure that carpets are secured to the floor. Choose rugs with non-slip backing or use double-sided tape to help keep them from slipping.
4. Place everyday items in an easily accessible place so you don’t need to climb on a step stool or chair to access them.
5. Make your bathroom fall resistant. Use non-slip mats inside the bathtub or shower. Use rugs with non-slip backing in your bathroom. Consider installing handrails in your tub or shower.
6. Make sure your home is well-lit. Often, we need brighter light to see well as we get older.
7. Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid walking around in socks or going barefoot.
8. Make sure any wet spills are cleaned up promptly. Don’t walk on freshly mopped areas.
9. Avoid going out in ice or snow. See if a neighbor, friend or family member can help with shoveling walks or putting salt down on icy surfaces for you.
10. Keep a flashlight near your bedside in case the power goes out and you need to get up.
While these tips will help you avoid falls, it is also important to stay healthy and work on your balance. Balance exercise as well as regular visits to your doctor are vital to keeping you on your feet as you age.
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