How to Prepare Your Home to Help Prevent Falls

October 20, 2015

woman-walkingAlthough some accidents are inevitable, it’s possible to reduce the risk of falling in the home by making some changes. Removing all hazards from common walkways, providing adequate lighting throughout the home, and putting up grab bars where necessary can all help make a home more safe for a person who has become susceptible to falling. The person who is concerned about falling should wear solid footwear when walking through the home, and if they need to use a walker or cane, this should always be within reach.

Remove Hazards from Walkways

There are many things to trip on that can cause falls. Throw rugs are a common problem for people who are no longer as agile as they used to be. While decorative, it’s important to remove all throw rugs from common walking paths throughout the home. Furniture should also be removed from blocking pathways to commonly used rooms in the home. Make sure that pathways are wide, and free from any obvious hazards to help prevent falls within the home.

Good Lighting is Essential

Falls often happen in the home in areas that are not well lit. Make sure that there is adequate lighting in the bathroom for late night trips, and put a night light in the hallway and any stairwells. Double check that all existing lights have the right watt bulb in them, and that no light bulbs are burnt out. If the lighting is still not sufficient, place additional lighting to ensure that the space is lit properly.

Grab Bars Can Help Prevent Falls

Grab bars help prevent falls because they give the user something solid to hold onto when they are trying to move around the home. Many people put up grab bars at the top of stairwells, in the bathroom so it is easier to get into the shower, and in an area where one has to try to shift positions.

Use Anti-Slip Tread on Slippery Surfaces

One common area where people fall is in the bathtub. Make sure that the tub has anti-slip tread in it, and make sure that this tread is not so worn down that it is no longer effective. Replace any worn out tread in the bathtub, and make sure that the tub is free from slippery soap scum.

Look for slippery surfaces on stairwells too, because stairs that don’t have tread on them are the culprit for a large number of falls. If the stairs are carpeted, it’s time to start thinking about replacing this carpeting. Carpeted stairs are slippery, especially when one is wearing slippers on their feet.

Preventing falls in the home is not a simple process. When a person has begun experiencing falls, it’s important to assess if they are safe enough to continue living in a home environment on their own. While a fall or two is not going to necessitate a move, consistent falling is a sign that there are more significant problems going on that will need to be addressed.

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