Older adults aren’t the only ones who need to worry about falls at home. Many households could benefit from a fall-prevention assessment. While the elderly are at increased risk, people of all ages end up in the hospital every single year due to preventable falls. Such injuries can lead to limited mobility, reduced activity, lost work time, inability to participate in recreational activities, and even loss of life.
Here are 10 ways you can help keep your own home safe:
- Remove clutter. From playrooms with toys strewn all over the floor, to home offices with stacks of paper everywhere, your house might just be one giant fall risk. Keep the messes at a minimum to reduces trips and falls.
- Arrange furniture appropriately. Always make sure there is plenty of space between furniture to move around freely, without bumping into anything. In addition, make sure any area rugs are properly secured, to avoid slipping when you step on them, or tripping over a raised edge.
- Invest in a bathroom rug. The bathroom floor can get slick with condensation after a hot shower, or can quickly turn into a pond with kids splashing around in the tub. A cheap rug is an easy way to give yourself somewhere to stand when the floor is unsafe.
- Keep your shower safe. While we’re on the subject of your bathroom – showers and bathtubs are a huge fall risk. Go out and pick up some of those little non-slip appliques or a non-slip mat to help prevent any accidents while you’re soaping up.
- Clean up spills immediately. From a knocked-over dog water bowl to a spilled cup of juice, any puddle on the floor is a danger. Make sure any liquid messes get cleaned up asap.
- Keep wires and cords out of the way. In today’s homes, electronics are all over the place. Between multiple televisions, computers, video game consoles, and cell phone chargers, there are more wires laying around than ever before. Keep those wires clear of walkways, and, if possible, invest in a device such as this to help keep them contained.
- Install railings in all stairways. If you live in a multi-level house, it is essential to have proper handrails installed in all stairways. In fact, in most states, your home won’t even pass inspection without the proper railings.
- Practice proper ladder safety. Ladders are one of the leading causes of fall-related injuries in the home, year-after-year. Keep yourself safe by always choosing the correct ladder for the job and always following the manufacturer’s safety guidelines.
- If you have small children, use baby gates where necessary. As anyone with children knows, babies and toddlers love climbing things they shouldn’t. Baby gates should be installed both at the foot of and the top of stairwells, as well as anywhere there is a fall risk. For instance, if your kitchen is recessed, and you have to step down to go into the room, you should probably put a gate in the doorway.
- Keep walkways neat. It’s easy to ignore the messes outside your house, but they’re a litigation waiting to happen! You want to keep your own family safe, of course, but keep in mind – if a stranger trips over those gardening tools you left on the sidewalk, they could sue you for any injury-related medical bills.
If you follow these simple tips and stay mindful of your surroundings, you should easily avoid most trips and falls within the home.