10 tips for preventing falls at home

Sunrise Senior Living  |  November 22, 2016
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Did you know 1 out of 4 seniors fall each year?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than half of those who fall tell their doctor, but 1 out of 5 falls leads to a serious head or bone injury. Because falls can happen anywhere and they pose a threat to your overall health and well-being, it's important to lower your risk of falling by maintaining a safe living environment.

Here are 10 tips for preventing falls at home:

1. Update your home lighting
Without adequate lighting in your rooms, you could increase your risk of tripping over something in the middle of the night. Consider adding an additional lamp or light fixture to each room, entrance and walkway to ensure they're well-lit. 

"Repair worn or loose carpeting to avoid tripping."

2. Secure your area rugs
Rugs can slip on hardwood floors if they're not properly secured. Use non-skid tape to hold them down. AARP also advises repairing worn or loose carpeting as soon as possible to avoid tripping.

3. Clean spills as soon as they happen
If you spill something in the bathroom or kitchen, don't wait to clean it up. You're more likely to forget and slip on it later.

4. Arrange furniture to create a safe walkway
Home Advisor recommends arranging your furniture so that there are clear paths to walk through in each room. That means hiding extension cords under couches and blocking other hazards that could cause you to trip and fall.

5. Keep the rooms clutter-free
Your rooms should be neat and organized, not full of clutter that blocks your walkways. To reduce fall risk, make it a point to keep spaces tidy on a daily basis, and schedule time for a deep clean at least once a week.

Keep your rooms neat and organized.Keep your rooms neat and organized.

6. Install hand railings in the stairways
It's common to misjudge the last step. But doing so could result in a harmful fall. To avoid this issue, NIH Senior Health suggested installing handrails on both side of the stairs and walkways. If you have to carry something upstairs, just hold one side and keep an eye on your feet.

7. Keep step stools handy
Never get up on the counter to reach for something in the cupboard. Just keep a stepstool handy. Leave one upstairs and another downstairs so you're prepared for every level of your home.

8. Install grab bars in the bathroom
Get grab bars installed in your shower or tub to avoid slipping and falling on the way in and out.

Install grab bars in your shower.Install grab bars in your shower.

9. Put a lamp on your nightstand
If you wake up in the middle of the night because you need to use the restroom, you should have a light nearby to illuminate the walkway. Put a lamp next to your bedside or place a night light near your bedroom door to find your way out.

10. Prepare for slick sidewalks
Winter is near, which means the harsh weather is on its way. Prepare for slick walkways by salting your sidewalks and wear boots with good traction while doing so.

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