Consider your current living arrangement. Is it as safe as possible?
While Americans are being more proactive about their health and living longer now than ever, adults aged 65 and older are still at risk for falling, according to the National Safety Council. Experiencing a fall could result in minor injury, or it could be serious to the point of taking away your independence. While avoiding falls is not always a possibility, there are a number of contributing factors that could indeed reduce your risk of experiencing a fall.
NIH Senior Health reported that six out of 10 falls actually happens in the home, so it's crucial to be more cautious in the place you'd expect it the least. Here are a few tips for creating a fall-proof living environment in your house:
One of the most important steps you can take to promote fall safety in your home is to remove items from the floors, stairs, hallways, pathways. Then, make sure your furniture is arranged in a way that makes it easy to navigate and walk around. If you have hardwood floors, consider placing non-slip strips in areas that pose greater threat for falling.
"Consider placing non-slip strips in areas that pose greater threat for falling."
And if you accidently spill something, make sure to clean it up immediately. Forgetting to do so could result in slipping and falling.
Your stairways pose a high threat for falling. That's why the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging strongly suggested having handrails on both sides of the steps to help you get up and down. Have a loved one make certain all handrails are working properly before using them.
When a room is poorly lit, you are put at higher risk for tripping over objects you can't see. To avoid this issue, make sure all light fixtures are working properly at all times. Also, add extra lighting to the dark places in your home. Placing night lights in your hallways, bedroom, bathroom and stairways is a proactive move for nighttime walking.
Consider living on one level
While keeping the floor clutter-free, installing handrails in the stairways and improving the lighting in the hallways reduces the likeliness of fall occurring, it does not completely take away the risk. Dr. Gary Kaplan told Everyday Health he suggests moving to a one level home because it significantly decreases your chances of experiencing a fall. If you're concerned about the current floor plan in your home, relocating to a senior living community might be an option to consider.