Tracking Fall Risks in the Home
Last updated 5/25/2023 at 5:12pm | View PDF
A rug not fastened to the floor. A slippery surface in the bathroom. A small pet running around.
Each of those are common in the homes of many older adults, and all are among the hazards that can lead to falls by seniors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year 36 million older adults suffer a fall, which is a leading cause of injuries among those 65 and older.
Many falls occur in the home, a place where older adults might let their guard down. But taking just a few minutes to scan the home for common fall hazards can help keep you or a loved one safe.
Here are a few things to look for, or consider, in different rooms in the home:
• Remove loose cords and wires, or fasten them to baseboards or the floor where possible.
• Remove unnecessary clutter like piles of newspapers, magazines, laundry, etc.
• Remove or limit end tables or other small pieces of furniture in well-traveled areas.
• Ensure all light bulbs are bright enough and working, and keep spare bulbs on hand in the home.
• Wear non-slip footwear, particularly if the home has hardwood flooring.
• Check that handrails are securely fastened to the wall, and none are loose.
• If stairs are carpeted, ensure the carpet is securely glued to the floor with no lumps or loose areas.
• If stairs are hardwood, install non-slip adhesive strips.
• Keep the stairs well-lit at night and, as with the living room/bedroom, have spare light bulbs on hand.
• Although they can be expensive and require installation, consider a chairlift.
• Install non-slip mats or pads in the shower or tub.
• Consider installing a walk-in shower or tub if able.
• Have a waterproof stool or chair for the shower for ease and comfort.
• Install weight-bearing grab bars or railings for assistance getting up and down.
• Install nightlights for increased visibility in case the bathroom is needed at night.
This article is courtesy of Prestige Assisted Living at Visalia. To learn more about their wellness programming or community, or to book a tour, visit prestigecare.com/Visalia or call (559) 735-0828.