Reducing my Risk of Falls at Home
The rate of falls at home is alarmingly high. One in three people over the age of 65 fall each year. Of these falls, one in five result in serious injury. The most resinous injuries occur as a result of a fall in the bathroom.
There are things you and your family can to do make your home safe. Below are some suggestions that can be done before you return home from a hospital or rehabilitation stay, or immediately upon your arrival. Talk to your health care provider if you need assistance in finding community resources.
- Use a cane, walker, or other prescribed assistive device if you’re unsteady
- Get your pneumonia vaccine and your yearly flu vaccine
- If you have stairs to enter the home and/or in the home, be sure the railings are secure
- Make sure all the lights in your home are working
- Consider replacing traditional lightblulbs with LED lights, which provide more light
- Tap lights and night lights can be added in dark areas
- Consider having an electrician add automatic lighting
Look around your house for anything you may trip on, or over:
- Remove or tack down throw rugs
- Make sure cables and extension cords are not in pathways
- Be sure all stairways, hallways, and floors are clear of clutter
- Be sure there is a non-skid pad or surface in your tub or shower
- Install grab bars (no suction cup bars) by a professional for proper mounting
- Consider installing a handheld shower
- If appropriate, use a shower seat
- Wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes and clothing, even when just getting up to go to the bathroom. Avoid loose fitting slippers.
If you ever get up from a seated or lying position and begin to feel dizzy or weak, sit back down and call for assistance. Do not attempt new tasks without supervision from your family or a caregiving until you know you are safe performing the task (for example driving). Be sure to also keep your most frequently used items close to you, especially your cell phone should you need help.