5 Ways to Prevent a Fall in the Home


Take a Look at Your Home

Night-lights -- they're not just for kids!
Night-lights -- they're not just for kids!
© iStockphoto.com/cutiebootiele

It's time to look at your home with a fresh perspective -- what might be a hazard and increase your risk of falling?

Most of us think nothing of skirting around things when navigating a room, but think of how dangerous those out-of-place objects can be if you're walking around in dim light or simply aren't as agile as you once were. Examine all of the typical traffic patterns through the house and move obstacles such as extension cords or ottomans. Rugs can also pose a problem; you could make them more stable by getting a nonslip pad to go underneath them or tack them to the floor. If you have loose carpet or other flooring, get it repaired immediately.

It's best to keep essential items on lower shelves and cabinets -- get assistance if you need to reach items that are higher up. If you must get something on a higher shelf, remember to use a sturdy step stool with nonskip steps and a handle, not a chair or other improvised stool.

Adequate lighting is important, too. Light switches or lamps should be located close to the entrances of rooms and by bedsides so that you don't have to cross a room in the dark. Consider placing night-lights in dimly lit areas, and install lights along stairways so that each tread is visible.

If these tips aren't enough, you can also buy aids specifically designed to help prevent falls. Check them out next.