10 Tips to “Fall Proof” Your Home
Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Did you know that 1 out of 3 people aged 65 and older fall each year?
AND… 1 out of every 5 falls cause serious injuries such as, hip and wrist fractures and head injuries. These numbers are shocking, but even more alarming is that less than half of seniors who fall report it to their doctor or their families. They may be embarrassed about falling or afraid that they will be forced to give up their independence.
Falls can be a gamechanger for a senior, and the key is to prevent the fall from ever happening. Here are 10 tips to create a “fall proof” environment:
1. Ditch the throw rugs! They are a major tripping hazard.
2. Light it up. Many falls occur during a middle of the night trip to the bathroom. This is an easy fix, plug in a nightlight.
3. Clear out the clutter. Get rid of newspapers & magazines that are stacked up on the floor.
4. Add grab bars in the shower/tub and by the toilet. Most falls happen in the bathroom, be aware of wet areas after showering
5. Have your vision checked regularly.
6. Be aware of side effects of medication. Many can cause dizziness.
7. Use adaptive equipment such as a reacher/grabber to pick things up. Shoe horns keep you from having to bend over to put your shoe on. There’s also a gadget to help you put your socks on without bending over.
8. If you’re having trouble with balance, use a walking aid – cane, walker or wheelchair.
9. Stay active! It’s so important to keep moving – stretch, do chair exercises, walk around your house. Keep your mind engaged by taking up a hobby, reading, volunteering, etc.
10. Always bend at your knees. The average head weighs about 8 pounds and guess what happens when you bend over? Gravity and your big noggin can cause you to do an unintended somersault.
To learn more, listen to my full podcast episode about fall prevention with expert Jacque Archer: