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AVOIDING FALLS AT HOME

Falls at home are the most common form of injury to older Americans.  Over time, our strength, coordination, reaction times, and the ability to absorb the impact from a fall tends to decrease.   

By making relatively minor changes in the home, you can decrease the overall risk of injury.  Here are just a few examples of changes that can be made.

  • Install safety devices in your bathroom, such as grab bars near the toilet and in the shower and bathtub. Use a non-slip mat when you shower or bathe to help avoid falls.   

  • If you don't have non-skid carpets, use double-sided tape or non-skid under-pads under your rugs and mats to ensure they won't slide under your feet.  Make sure stair rails and banisters are sturdy and attached properly to walls, so they won't come loose if you pull on them.  

  • Keep your floors tidy. Move or remove anything you might trip over, such as small pieces of furniture, electrical cords, handbags etc. When the grandchildren visit, have them keep their shoes and toys in a safe place.  

  • Make sure your home is well lit. Use night-lights, especially in areas that tend to be dark or where you might want to go during the night, such as bathrooms, stairwells or the kitchen.  

  • In the kitchen, laundry room or storage area, keep the items you use most often on the shelves you find easiest to reach. Avoid climbing on chairs or stools.  

  • Think about wearing pajamas instead of long nightgowns or robes that might cause you to trip. For the same reason, beware of overlong skirts, dresses or pants. Avoid long shoelaces.

  • Wear boots, shoes and slippers with soles made of rubber or other non-skid material.

 

 

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