As you get older, you recognize how important it is to prevent falls in your home. Making just a few small changes to your home can make all the difference when it comes to preventing falls. While falls can hurt anyone, they can be especially dangerous for seniors, who are more at risk for things like hip fractures. Making your home safe from falls doesn’t have to be a difficult task; it only takes a few small changes. Here are a few tips.
Declutter Your Floors
Having lots of loose items on the floor makes you more prone to tripping and falling. Try to keep your floors free of small items that are difficult to see or larger items that you could easily bump into. This includes throw rugs, which are very slippery and easy to trip on. Ideally, you should have lots of open space between pieces of furniture for you to walk freely. If you must keep a throw rug, be sure to put grips on the bottom corners of the rug so it stays in place on the floor.
Have Adequate Lighting
Falls are common at nighttime when it’s difficult to see where you’re going. Try to plug in a nightlight in your bedroom and bathroom so you can see where you’re going if you get up in the middle of the night. You can even keep a small flashlight next to your bed to have with you when you walk to the bathroom at night. And during daytime hours, open the blinds to let natural light into your home. This will help keep your home bright and increase your visibility.
Keep Your Stairs Safe
If you have stairs in your home, make sure you have a railing on them so you can lean on something as you’re walking up and down. Ideally, you should try to minimize your use of stairs to prevent falls, but sometimes that just isn’t possible. If you use the stairs frequently but are unsteady, you may consider installing a chair lift onto your stairs. This gives you access to the stairs but in a safe way that you are free from potential falls or accidents.
Carry a Personal Emergency Response System
Sometimes, even with the best preparations, falls are inevitable. This is when it can come in handy to have a personal emergency response system. These devices come in the form of a necklace or bracelet you wear that has a button to press if you experience a fall. When you press the button, it calls 911 and you can speak to someone directly to let them know you’ve had a fall and need help. Some personal emergency response systems even have a fall detection monitor in the event that you can’t press the button during a fall. A personal emergency response system can make all the difference, especially if your caregiver isn’t with you.
So, with just a few simple steps, you can make your home safe and fall-proof. This will give you the peace of mind of knowing you’ve lowered your risk of falls. You’ll sleep peacefully knowing your home is a safe haven and you’ll make your family and caregivers happy, too.