The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is one of the best sources for information about fall rates, causes and prevention. Below is a partial checklist of the items to find and fix fall hazards in the home. The complete list can be ordered as a pamphlet or downloaded as a PDF file at: http://www.cdc.gov/steadi/pdf/check_for_safety_brochure-a.pdf
Falls 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.
Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape or a non-slip backing so the rugs won’t slip.
Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them. If needed, have an electrician put in another outlet.
Ask someone to move the furniture so your walking path is clear.
Stairs and Steps
Pick up things on the stairs. Always keep objects off stairs.
Make sure the carpet is firmly attached to every step, or remove the carpet and attach non-slip rubber treads to the stairs.
Fix loose handrails or put in new ones. Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and are as long as the stairs (Safety In Place also suggests to add returns to the ends of the handrails to prevent snagging clothing or other loose items).
Move hard-to-reach items in your cabinets. Keep things you use often on the lower shelves (about waist level).
Put a non–slip rubber mat or self–stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower.
Have a carpenter install grab bars inside and next to the tub and next to the toilet.
Keep the bathroom unlocked in case you fall in order to make it easier for emergency responders to get to you.
Put in a night–light so you can see where you're walking. Some night–lights go on by themselves after dark.
Other Safety Tips
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.
*Note: Fall prevention efforts can reduce the risk of falling. Caregivers and older homeowners can become knowledgeable about what needs to be done to make homes as fall-proof as possible. Check here often and search for product ideas that can make you safer in your home!
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