How To Prevent Falls at Home: The Ins and Outs of Being Safe

Have you ever heard the saying, “We are not as young as we used to be?”  As we get older we forget to do simple everyday tasks to ensure our own safety. Falls happen at home for many reasons. Our goal as a DME provider is to help you prevent falls at home.

There are several things that are known to add to your risk for falling. These include: 

  • Poor vision or hearing
  • History of falls
  • Use of aids, such as canes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Certain medications
  • Being over 65 years old
  • Conditions of the home, such as slippery floors, loose rugs, cords on the floor 

According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) www.cdc.gov , millions of elderly people fall each year. Over 800,000 patients are hospitalized because of a fall injury, most often because of a head injury or a hip fracture. Resulting direct medical costs for fall injuries are $31 billion annually. That’s a lot of money, for something that we could help prevent. 

Here are some helpful things that you can do that will help lower your risk for falls at home. 

Bathroom

  • Use a raised toilet seat and safety frame for ease in getting up and down from toilet
  • Set temperature at 120 degrees or less (prevent burns and falls trying to avoid burns)
  • Consider a hand-held shower head, shower chair and handrails in the tub
  • Place a non-skid adhesive strips in the tub
  • Use liquid soap or soap on a rope to prevent dropping soap 

 Other 

  • Store items used often at waist level
  • Select furniture with armrests for support in getting up and down
  • Keep phone within easy reach 

Lighting

Replace dim, burned out or glaring lights with bright, soft white light bulbs

  • Use a night light
  • Make sure light are easy to turn on and off
  • Keep a flashlight available

Clear Hallways and Stairs 

  • Remove clutter, especially from hallways and stairwells
  • Use handrails while taking the stairs
  • Place non-skid treads or bright reflective tape to mark the edge of the stairs 

Floors

Remove scatter/throw rugs

  • Place non-skid treads or double-sided tape under area rugs
  • Keep floors free from clutter
  • Wipe up spills immediately
  • Make sure floors are not slippery ​​ 

If you have fallen, please contact or make an appointment immediately with your doctor to be evaluated. Your doctor might suggest that an occupational therapist, physical therapist, or nurse visit your home. These health care providers can assess your home’s safety and advise you about making changes to prevent falls.

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