Each year, thousands of older Americans fall at home. Last year alone 22,800 people over age 65 died and 2.3 million were treated in emergency departments because of home falls.
Use this checklist to help you find and fix tripping hazards in your home.
Review floors and pathways. Be sure they are free of obstructions which may cause you to trip and fall. Be especially wary of scatter rugs which cause a great number of falls.
- STAIRS & STEPS
Remove all objects from stairs and landings. Be sure the carpet is firmly attached to the stair treads. Loose or worn out carpet is the culprit in many stair falls. Check that handrails are secure. Ensure that stairway lighting is sufficient and consider adding lighting to help you see the stair treads more clearly.
Remove scatter rugs. Keep items you use often on lower shelves. Bring a stool to the sink or counter area if you plan on standing for long periods. If you must use a step stool, is it sturdy? Get one with a bar to hold on to. NEVER use a chair!
Beware of slippery tub floors. No-Slip mats are good but no-slip strips are better. Use a seat or bench in the tub. Consider a Tub-Cut modification which creates a pass thru in your current tub eliminating the need to step over the tub side. If you need support getting in and out of the tub/toilet have grab bars professionally installed.
This really important! Be sure your slipper or socks fit snuggly. Loose slippers are dangerous and lead to many falls.