Don’t be a fall guy
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Use this checklist to prevent falls at home
Every year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and disability in people aged 65 and older. Those who fall once are two to three times more likely to fall again. Hip fractures are especially serious, and most of them are caused by falling.
Falls are often caused by hazards that are easy to overlook. Fortunately, these hazards can also be easy to fix. This checklist helps you find hazards in each room of your home, and it gives tips on how to fix the problem.
If you experienced a fall recently or are concerned about falling, it’s a good idea to talk with your primary care physician.
____Move furniture so your path through a room is clear.
____Remove throw rugs on floors or use double-sided tape or a special backing so the rugs won’t slip.
____ Pick up papers, books, shoes, boxes or other things that are on the floor. Always keep objects off the floor.
____ Coil or tape wires (such as extension cords, or lamp or phone cords) next to the wall so you can’t trip over them. If you need another power outlet, have an electrician install one.
Stairs and steps
____ Pick up papers, shoes, books or other things on stairs. Always keep objects off stairs.
____ Fix loose, broken or uneven steps.
____ Make sure you have plenty of light in stairways. Have an electrician put in an overhead light at the top and bottom of the stairs. You can get light switches that glow.
____If you have burned-out lights in the stairway, have a friend or family member change the bulbs.
____Make sure the carpet is firmly attached to every step. You can also remove the carpet and attach rubber treads to the stairs to prevent slips.
____Fix loose handrails or put in new ones. Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and span the full length of the stairs.
____Move items in your cabinets so that the things you use a lot are on the lower shelves (about waist level).
____If you must use a step stool, get one with a bar to hold onto. Never use a chair as a step stool.
____Put a rubber mat that won’t slip or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
____Have a carpenter install grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet.
____Place a lamp close to the bed where it’s easy to reach.
____Put in a night light so you can see where you’re walking. Some night lights turn on by themselves after dark. You might also turn on an overhead light in the hallway or bathroom before you go to bed.
____Change the height of your bed if you have trouble getting in or out of bed. You might try a thinner mattress or a shorter bed frame.
____Don’t use sleepwear or bedspreads that are slippery.
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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.