You can make some simple changes in your home and in the way you do some daily activities to reduce your risk of falling.
To prevent falls around your Home:
- Remove things that you can trip over, such as raised doorway thresholds, throw rugs, and clutter. Repair loose carpet or raised areas in the floor.
- Move furniture and electrical cords out of walking paths.
- Use nonskid floor wax, and wipe up spills right away.
- If you use a walker or cane, put rubber tips on it. If you use crutches, clean the bottoms of them regularly with an abrasive pad, such as steel wool.
- Keep your house well lit, especially stairways, porches, and outside walkways. Use night-lights in areas such as hallways and bathrooms. Add extra light switches or use remote switches (such as switches that go on or off when you clap your hands) to make it easier to turn lights on if you have to get up during the night.
- Put sturdy handrails on stairways.
- If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, sprinkle salt or cat litter on slippery steps and sidewalks.
To reduce the chance of a fall in your daily activities:
- Store household items on lower shelves so that you do not have to climb or reach high. Or use a reaching device that you can buy at a medical supply store. If you have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails.
- Do not try to carry too many things at the same time. Have a place near your door where you can place packages and groceries while you close the door and get ready to put things away.
- Wear low-heeled shoes that fit well and give your feet good support. Use footwear with nonskid soles. Check the heels and soles of your shoes for wear. Repair or replace worn heels or soles.
- Do not wear socks without shoes on smooth floors.
To prevent falls in the bathroom:
- Install grab handles and nonskid mats inside and outside your shower or tub and near the toilet and sinks.
- Use shower chairs and bath benches.
- Get into a tub or shower by putting the weaker leg in first. Get out of a tub or shower with your strong side first.
- Use a long-handled brush or mittens with straps to help with bathing.