It's Time to Start Fall-Proofing Our Homes
Updated: May 18
Your home should be your sanctuary, the place you go to feel safe and secure. Home is where you raised your children and played with your grandchildren.
However, did you know, 6 out of every 10 falls happen at home? There are many changes you can make to your home that will help you avoid falls and ensure your safety.
For Stairways, Hallways, and Pathways We Recommend:
Handrails on both sides of the stairs, and make sure they are tightly fastened. Hold the handrails when you use the stairs, going up or down. If you must carry something while you're on the stairs, hold it in one hand and use the handrail with the other. Don't let what you're carrying block your view of the steps.
Check the lighting and replace burnt out bulbs quickly. Remember to use the lights!
Keep clutter to a minimum. A clean area is a safe area! Don't leave books, papers, clothes, and shoes on the floor or stairs.
Area rugs, mats, and carpets unless firmly fixed to the floor can be fall hazards. Put no-slip strips on tile and wooden floors. You can buy these strips at the hardware store.
For Bathrooms and Powder Rooms
Grab bars near toilets and on both the inside and outside of your tub and shower are essential. Make sure you use a qualified handyman to install them.
Place non-skid mats, strips, or carpets on all surfaces that may get wet.
Lights, lights, lights – turn them on. What we don’t see will hurt us.
For Your Bedroom
Put night lights and light switches close to your bed.
Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power goes out and you need to get up.
Keep your telephone near your bed.
Technology is your friend, there are many affordable systems on the market that will turn the light on when you get out of bed.
For Other Living Areas
Keep electric cords and telephone wires near walls and away from walking paths.
Secure all carpets and large area rugs firmly to the floor.
Arrange your furniture (especially low coffee tables) and other objects so they are not in your way when you walk.
Make sure your sofas and chairs are the right height for you to get in and out of them easily.
Don't walk on newly washed floors—they are slippery.
Keep items you use often within easy reach.
Don't stand on a chair or table to reach something that's too high—use a "reach stick" instead or ask for help. Reach sticks are special grabbing tools that you can buy at many hardware or medical supply stores. If you use a step stool, make sure it is steady and has a handrail on top. Have someone stand next to you.
Don't let your cat or dog trip you. Know where your pet is whenever you're standing or walking.
Keep emergency numbers in large print near each telephone.
If you have fallen, your doctor might suggest that an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or nurse visit your home. These healthcare providers can assess your home's safety and advise you about making changes to prevent falls.
Your Own Medical Alert System
If you’re concerned about falling, think about getting one of our fall detection devices and medical alert systems. If you fall or need emergency help, you push a button on a special necklace or bracelet to alert 911. Please call Personal Living Alert at 1-833-563-0400, they have a wide assortment of medical alarm systems.
Home Improvements Prevent Falls
Many State and local governments have education and/or home modification programs to help older people prevent falls. Check with your local health department, or local Area Agency on Aging to see if there is a program near you.