As we grow older, our risk of falling increases and so does the risk of serious injury from a fall. Most trips, slips and falls happen in and around the home. Here are some simple things you can do to make sure your home doesn’t trip you up.
– Use a non-slip mat inside and outside the tub or shower.
– Install grab bars by the toilet and in the tub and shower area.
– Purchase a non-slip bath and shower bench to get in and out safely.
– Install a raised toilet seat to make getting on and off easier.
– Replace loose scatter mats with rugs that have rubber backing.
– Wipe up spills immediately.
– Keep everyday items on shelves within easy reach.
– Make sure no extension cords cross your path.
– Never climb on a chair or stool to reach for something. Always ask for assistance.
– Use non-slip floor wax.
– Add gliders to your chairs to make moving them easier when you sit down or get up from the table.
– Keep stairways clear of clutter that can cause you to trip.
– Ensure there are handrails on both sides of the staircase.
– Repair loose railings.
– Install non-slip strips on the edge of each step.
– Secure loose or wrinkled carpet.
– Ensure good lighting in stairwells.
– Make sure you can see where you are going if you are carrying something up or down the stairs.
The Rest of the House
– Have a clear path from the bedroom to the bathroom. Place night lights along the way to guide you.
– Make sure tables and lamps are stable.
– Always sit down when putting on or taking off shoes and clothing.
– Don’t rush to answer the phone. Consider a cordless phone.
– Keep a covered bucket of sand or salt near the doorway in winter to safely handle slippery conditions.
– Make sure outdoor railings and stairs are sturdy and secure. Install railings on both sides of outdoor stairways if needed.
– Keep steps and pathways clear of clutter such as yard tools, snow shovels, newspapers and wet leaves.
– Don’t juggle parcels while trying to enter the house. Never carry more than is reasonable. – Instead, make a few trips from the car with smaller packages.
Alevia is here to help. One of our trained and experienced licensed physiotherapists can help assess your risk of falls by evaluating your strength and balance. They can also prescribe exercises and give you practical advice to reduce your risk.