It happens: One out of three senior citizens falls each year, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But at Hoveround, we don’t want that to happen to your or your loved ones (or anyone else, really!). Luckily, we have 5 simple tips to help prevent falls in the home that will help the seniors in your life to keep aging in place for as long as possible.
1. Make sure floors don’t pose trip hazards
- If your furniture layout has tables and chairs jutting out into the space you use to walk from one side of home to the other, you may want to reconsider and have all the furniture pushed against the wall (and remove unnecessary items).
- Rugs have the ability to get caught under your foot while you’re walking and can cause you to trip -- so it’s best to either remove the rugs or use a non-slip rug backing tape to keep it secure to the floor.
- Make sure nothing else is on the floor or in your walking pathway, including piles of books, sewing baskets, electrical cords, blankets, loose floorboards or anything else that can lead to a possible fall.
2. Address potential slip-and-fall concerns in the bathroom
- Non-slip mats or self-adhesive stickers are an absolute necessity for the bathtub or shower stall and it’s a relatively inexpensive safety feature.
- Install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet for support and help when aging in place.
- Consider either installing a bench in the (barrier-free) shower stall or using a specially designed seat made for use in a bathtub.
3. Make things easily accessible in the kitchen
- Put as many items as possible on lower shelves so they are easier to reach.
- Invest in a real step stool (not a chair) to reach higher items if absolutely necessary -- but get one that has a bar to hold onto as well.
4. Check indoor and outdoor steps for safety
- Immediately fix loose footings on the steps. Those rolled up carpet ends, flipped up or chipped linoleum or tiles are tripping hazards.
- Uneven, loose, wobbly, cracked and missing outdoor steps need to be replaced or fixed.
- Ensure proper lighting is used near both indoor and outdoor steps and that the light switch is easily reachable.
- Elevate your mobility with a Hoveround stair lift.
5. Have a good path from the bed to the bathroom
- Make sure there is a light within easy reach of the bed and install grab bars if necessary to help pull up.
- Plug in a night-light to illuminate the hallway to the bathroom.
Updating your living space with these 5 tips to help prevent falls in the home can help keep you safe and allows you to continue aging in place for as long as possible. Call Hoveround today at 800-542-7236 to learn about the mobility solutions we offer. We can help make sure you maintain your independence while reducing your risk of falling.