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Preventing Falls Around the Home

The National Council on Aging reports that 30% of seniors fall each year, leading to about 800,000 emergency department visits. Check your home for common fall risks to keep you safe.

Common Reasons for Falls In and Around the Home

  • Slippery or wet tile floors, shower or bathtub floor

  • No grab bars in the shower, tub or near the toilet

  • No handrails or lighting on stairs; not using handrails; loose handrails, loose steps, uneven steps, steps that are too deep or too shallow

  • Too little light overall; no nightlights

  • Rugs, mats or carpet runners that are not secured by non-stick rubber mats or double-sided tape (including outdoor mats like rope polypropylene mats)

  • No clear walking path on floor and stairs because of furniture, objects or trash

  • Using a ladder or step stool indoors to change light bulbs, reach items stored in high places; or outdoors to trim trees or check gutters

  • Loose cords or wires on the floor or ground

Tips to Prevent Falls at Home

  • Ensure that bathroom or tile floors are dry

  • Install grab bars

  • Install or improve handrails and lighting on stairs; fix broken, loose or uneven steps; assess step height to see if it is causing a loss of balance

  • Replace light bulbs or have an electrician add day/night lighting, add nighlights

  • Secure indoor and outdoor rugs and doormats with rubber mats or double-sided tape

  • Have a family member help clear a walking path on floors and on stairs

  • Avoid using step ladders or ladders when alone; have a friend or caregiver use the ladder/step ladder, or use them as a spotter

  • Tape or secure cords and wires to the wall

  • Schedule a home safety assessment by a licensed occupational therapist



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