Updated: Jan 16
Taking a fall at home can be a frightening and life-changing experience, especially for the elderly and those living alone. The good news is that with a few simple changes at home, you and your loved ones can protect your bones and stay safe and independent at home. Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but easy to fix. This checklist will help you find and fix those hazards in your home.
Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Falling
• Place a slip-resistant rug or rubber mat adjacent to the bathtub for safe exit and entry.
• Use a rubber mat or place non-skid adhesive textured strips inside the tub.
• Use a sturdy, plastic seat in the bathtub if you cannot lower yourself to the floor of the tub or you are unsteady.
• Install grab bars on the shower walls.
• Replace glass shower enclosures with non-shattering material.
• Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using a raised seat or a toilet seat with armrests.
• Keep a nightlight on in the bathroom.
• Immediately clean up any liquids, grease or food spilled on the floor.
• Store food, dishes and cooking equipment within easy reach and never stand on chairs or boxes to reach upper cabinets.
• Remove all throw rugs and hold area rugs in place with a rubber, slip-resistant backing.
• Use non-skid floor wax.
• Place a lamp, telephone and flashlight near your bed.
• Keep clutter off the bedroom floor.
• Arrange clothes in your closet so that they are easy to reach.
• Do not stand on chairs or boxes to reach upper shelves.
• Install a nightlight along the route between your bedroom and the bathroom.
• Sleep on a bed that is easy to get into and out of.
• Replace satiny sheets and comforters with non-slip fabrics such as flannel.
• Keep low-rise coffee tables, magazine racks, footrests and plants out of the path of foot traffic.
• Arrange furniture so that you have a clear pathway between rooms.
• Walk only in well-lit rooms and always turn on lights.
- Install easy-access light switches at room entrances
– Motion or sound activated lights and glow-in-the-dark switches are also helpful.
• Remove boxes, newspapers and all clutter from pathways, including doorways and hallways.
– Keep electric, appliance and telephone cords out of walkways
– Do not hide cords under a rug because it creates a tripping hazard.
• Secure loose area rugs with a rubber, slip-resistant backing.
• Replace chairs or sofas that are so low they are difficult to get out of.
• Repair loose wooden floorboards immediately.
• Remove door sills higher than a half inch.
• Place a bell on your small pets so you can locate them easily and know when they are near your feet, creating a potential tripping hazard.
• Train dogs to walk beside you, instead of in front of you and train them not to pull when on a leash.
• Wear properly fitting shoes with rubber, non-skid soles.
• Avoid wearing high heels.
• Tie your shoelaces and never walk in bare socks.
• Replace slippers that have stretched out of shape or are too loose.
• Always choose a shoe that has a closed heel.
• Keep the path between your driveway and the front door, as well as the pathway between the
mailbox and your front door well-lit and clear of debris.
• For cold weather locations, keep salt and a shovel near the front door so you do not have to walk
on an icy sidewalk in order to reach them.
• Install motion-detector lights so they turn on automatically when you step outside at night.
• At least one covered, no-step entry with a ramp is recommended for any home.
• Keep stairs clear from clutter.
• Stairs need to be well lit.
• Consider installing motion detector lights that turn on automatically.
• Install contrast string on the edge of each step.
• Put non-slip treads on each bare-wood step.
• Install handrails on both sides of the stairwell that are 30 inches above the stairs and extend the full length of the stairs.
• Repair loose carpeting, wooden boards and loose handrails.
• Repair any throw rugs at the top and bottom of the staircase.
Other Things to Consider
• Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone.
• Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can’t get up.
• Think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can’t get up.
• Do exercises that improve your balance and make your legs stronger. Exercise also helps you
feel better and more confident.
Hopefully these tips will help you decrease your likelihood of falling in the home.
If your balance is off, or if you are fearful of falling in the home, contact Affirmation today. We have a care team that can help ensure your safety and independence in your home environment.