The risk of falling rises with age, and most falls happen at home. Falls can lead to broken bones, like a fractured hip, which can make it hard to get around, do everyday activities, or live independently.
Simple changes can be made in and around your home to help prevent falls and eliminate tripping hazards. Here are 6 suggestions to make your home comfortable, safe, and a great fit for people of all ages.
1. Remove scatter rugs
Remove throw rugs throughout the home that are easy to trip over. If you must have a rug in the bathroom, make sure it has a no-slip bottom.
Remove items, such as stacks of books or boxes on the floor, that you may trip over or that can cause harm if you fall.
3. Keep pathways clear
Clear pathways of trip hazards — such as clutter, power cords, or extra furniture — so that it’s easier to move around. This includes hallways as well as the route around your bed to the door. Get electrical cords with flat plugs or place rubber strips over the cords.
4. Fix uneven surfaces
As people age, vision changes may mean their depth perception isn’t as good as before, and they may not see the details of walking surfaces. Fix uneven walkways and steps inside and outside the home to help prevent falls. Consider adding a contrasting color to floors, such as a colorful carpet on a hardwood floor instead of beige, so any surface changes are clear.
5. Shine a light
Good lighting is important to illuminate pathways and surfaces inside and outside the home. Open curtains or blinds to let in natural light. Add extra lighting, such as nightlights in hallways, toe-kick lights, or light strips on steps, where needed. Consider motion-sensor lighting inside or outside for ease of use.
6. Secure the bathroom
Install a higher toilet or a seat extender, which are better for people with arthritis or knee problems. Other fall-prevention changes include using nonslip rugs, adding a shower chair, and installing grab bars near the shower, tub, and toilet.