Every year, there are thousands of Americans who end up falling inside of their home. Many wind up injured seriously, while some end up becoming disabled. Back in 2002, close to 13,000 people who were over the age of 65 ended up dying, while another 1.6 million were seen in the emergency department from their fall.
Falls tend to be attributed to hazards inside of the home that are easily overlooked, but don’t take much to correct the problem. Using the checklist below, you can easily fix the hazards inside of the home in no time. Preventing falls doesn’t have to be as complicated as one might think. Take the time to correct the issues below to ensure your home is safe and secure from one room to the next.
If there are rugs on the floor, you can either remove them or use a double-sided tape or backing that prevents slips to make sure the rug stays securely in place.
If there are any books, papers, magazines, shoes, blankets, boxes or other objects lying around on the floor, you want to make sure everything is picked up and the floor is clear. Make sure all objects are off the floor and the pathway is clear.
Coil wires that are next to the wall to make sure you aren’t going to trip over them. If needed, you can have an electrician place another outlet in the home to shorten cord length.
Stairs or steps that are uneven or broken should be fixed right away.
If you have lights that are burned out or missing, you need to have them replaced right away to light up the pathway. Have a friend or family member come in and change the lights for you to make sure you don’t fall when trying to make the change.
Carpeting should be firmly attached to every step. If not, remove the carpeting and attach non-slip treads to keep the carpet securely in place.
Fix any handrails that are loose or install new ones. Make sure you have handrails installed on both sides of the stairs to have a secure grip on both sides all the way to the top and bottom.
Instead of using the higher shelves in the kitchen, move things to the lower shelves to make them easier to reach. Keep the things you use the most often on the lower shelves.
If you have to use a step stool, you need to get one that has a bar that you can hold on to. Never climb up on a chair to use it as your step stool.
In terms of the shower or tub, place a non-slip rubber mat or some of the self-stick strips down on the floor to help provide you with grip and stability inside of the shower or tub.
Have a professional install grab bars next to the toilet or shower to make it easier to get up and out of the shower. Having something to grab onto will help minimize the chance of injury.
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Author: Mark Bowman and family are the owners of Home Care Assistance of Utah. Mark has spent his career serving people in the health care industry.