According to the National Council on Aging, more than 75% of falls take place inside or in close proximity of the home.
To mark the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Awareness Day—held annually on the first day of fall—Scott A. Trudeau, PhD, OTR/L, Productive Aging and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Program Manager for AOTA, offers tips for preventing falls.
Top Tips for Preventing Falls in Your Home:
- Increase lighting in and around your home. Outside, make sure entryways are properly lit so you can see where you’re stepping. Motion-activated lights enhance security while providing adequate light in the dark. Be sure to change light bulbs when necessary both in and outside the home. In the bedroom, have lights easily accessible to avoid stumbling across the room to the nearest switch.
- In the bathroom, secure throw rugs and use rubber mats in the shower or tub. Consider installing grab bars.
- Keep stairs clutter-free. Install lights at the top and bottom to increase visibility. Add a second handrail so balance can be achieved on both sides.
- In the bedroom, consider adding a bed rail to assist when getting out of bed. Be sure to keep the phone within arm’s reach.
- In the kitchen, put everyday items on the lowest shelves to avoid using stepstools and chairs. Ask a relative or friend to rotate seasonal items in and out for use.
For more details about the tips mentioned here, check out “18 Steps to Fall Proofing Your Home” on NCOA’s blog.