Millions of adults age 65 and older fall each year. These falls can lead to severe injuries including hip fractures and head trauma. Underlying health conditions, such as the need to take blood thinning medication, can lead to other serious problems.
While winter certainly creates more treacherous conditions outside, there are plenty of potential dangers within the home that are present year round. Here are some ideas to help keep everyone’s home safer:
- Remove any tripping hazards such as items on the fl oor including books, papers, clothing and shoes.
- Remove small throw rugs. Make sure that any remaining area rugs fi rmly grip the fl oor to avoid sliding.
- Keep commonly used items on lower shelves of cabinets. Avoid using a step stool.
- Use nonslip mats or other type of friction tape in bathtub and shower fl oors.
- Be cautious of wet fl ooring during rainy or snowy days.
- Improve lighting in the home. As we age, our vision requires a higher level of bright light to see well.
- Make sure handrails are available and properly maintained near any steps or staircases.
- Add additional lighting along steps and staircases.
- If a family member should fall, do not move them from that location unless they are able to move themselves.