Falling in the home is a serious thing, especially if you live alone. While most falls are minor incidents, as you get older you need to be a little more careful. Balance issues can set in as we age.
Every year, approximately 3 million people over the age of 65 suffer a fall in the home. Even a minor fall can cause a hip fracture or break, or even TBI (traumatic brain injury).
This post is dedicated to sharing ways to lower your risk of falling inside the home. Fall-proofing your living area may not sound like a priority if you haven’t fallen yet, but all it takes is one fall to create a medical emergency.
Keep It Tidy
The home is a place of comfort. Sometimes, though, we get a little too comfortable and extraneous items like newspapers can be piled up here and there. Now’s the time to think about purging your home and getting rid of things you might trip over.
We all tend to collect things throughout our lives, but this habit can soon get out of control, creating an obstacle course. If you’ve got more than you need in your home, think about giving some of it away, or having a garage sale. Clutter can get in the way and that may mean a falling hazard.
Handrails and Grab Bars
If you’re older, or on the edge of that demographic, you may be reluctant to install visible signs of that reality. A lot of people are.
But you know what they say – “Pride comes before a fall”.
Swallow your pride and install handrails in areas you may need something to hang onto, including in the bathtub or shower area. Next to the toilet is another handy place for a grab bar. Even if you’re not there yet, don’t let a fall signal that you need these safety aids.
Many people prefer lower lighting in the home, but as we get older, night vision becomes less reliable, so upping the wattage in areas where you may be more prone to falling is something you should do.
Hallways and stairways are good places to do this. To keep your bedroom and bathroom easy to navigate, plug in night lights let you see where you’re going, should you need to get up in the middle of the night.
Slip Proof Footwear
Socks and slippers are cozy, but unless they have slip proof soles, they can provoke a fall. Seek out footwear for the home that has a slip proof rubber sole. Some socks are also equipped with rubber bottoms to make them safer to wear at home.
While you may be used to the quirks of your home, make sure they aren’t falling hazards. Rugs which have turned up at the corners, loose floor boards and electrical cords can get in your way. While you may be used to them, anyone can trip when they’re not paying attention.
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