Your staircase, kitchen step ladder, and stove are things you use every day, without a second thought. But these everyday home objects can hold hidden dangers. Every year, one in three adults age 65 and over falls. And those falls are the leading cause of death from injury among older adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To lower the risk of senior slips and falls at home, print out these home safety tips for seniors. Then go through your house one room at a time, making sure your home is as safe as it can be.
In the Kitchen
- If you use a stepstool, take it out and make sure it’s steady. If it wiggles or is uneven when placed on the floor, buy a new one. Avoid using a stool with more than two steps.
- Take note of what you use most in your kitchen. Are the items placed on high shelves? If so, reorganize so that frequently used items are more easily accessible.
- Is the area around your stove clear? Minimize clutter in the kitchen to prevent accidents like stove fires. Consider helping your loved one prepare meals or hiring an in home caregiver to help with homemaking tasks like cooking.
- Is the smoke detector working properly? It’s important to check that batteries are fresh and fully functioning.
On the Floors
- Do you have a clear path through each room, or do you have to walk around furniture? Make sure the paths you use most often are wide and clear, especially if you need to navigate with a walker or wheelchair.
- Are there piles of magazines or other objects on the floor that might cause you to trip? Keep them on tables or shelves to reduce floor clutter.
- Are there any electrical cords (computer cords, lamp cords, etc.) that you have to walk over? Reroute them to minimize trips and falls.
- Do you have throw rugs located in high traffic areas? Move them out of high-traffic areas, or make sure each rug has a non-slip backing.
Up the Stairs
- Are your stairs well-lit? If not, have extra lights installed. Make sure you have a light switch at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
- Do you have two sturdy handrails? If you just have one, have another installed.
- Are the stairs free of clutter?
- Are you stairs carpeted? If they are, make sure the carpet is firmly attached. If not, install rubber treads on each step.
In the Bedroom
- Can you reach a light from your bed? If not, place a lamp within arm’s reach.
- Do you have a nightlight to help you get from your bed to the bathroom? If not, install one that helps light up the path you would take.
In the Bathroom
- Do you have something to hold on to to help you get in and out of the bathtub? If not, install grab bars or handles. Consider a grab bar next to the toilet as well for assistance.
- Is the shower floor slippery? If it is, get a non-skid surface or a rubber mat to place inside the tub or shower. Special shower chairs and stools also help reduce slips and falls in the shower.
- Is there a nightlight in the bathroom? Consider getting one to help orient yourself when looking for the light switch in a dark bathroom.
With a few precautions, you can help lower your risk of falling and make your home a much safer place to be.
Do you have any more tips to help make the home safer? Share with us in the comments!