Did you know that falls are among the highest causes for injuries leading to emergency department visits? While community obstacles are normally out of our control, we can do our best to maintain a safe household environment. With the first day of Fall being just around the corner, what better time than now to make yourself aware of potential barriers around your home? Here are some concepts to consider for improving the safety of your household environment and reduce the risk for falling.
Keep pathways clear
Try to keep your floor clean of any loose items. If you have electrical cords or cables lying on the floor, attach the cords along a baseboard to keep free out of your walkway. Arrange the seating furniture to make transferring as simple and smooth as possible. Also, make sure there is enough space between these objects to avoid bumping into and further your risk for falling.
Be aware of uneven surfaces
Many people have both carpet and hardwood floors in their home. Take your time when walking from one surface to the next, as a change in the level or surface of flooring could catch you off guard. Make sure carpet is secure and avoid having throw rugs that could easily be tripped upon.
Brighten your way
Make sure your pathways are well lit with high watt bulbs. Keep a lamp by your bedside. If possible, ensure there are light switches at both ends of the hallways and stairways. Sensor lights, night lamps and glow in the dark switches can be an aide as well.
Place frequently used items close by
Reaching for items that are high or low can throw off your steadiness and decrease you stability. Keep items in the kitchen and bathroom on the counter or arms reach to alter your balance.
Wear appropriate footwear
Avoid wearing shoes that are slip-ons without a secure support around the heel. Make sure the shoes have a proper sole on the bottom to reduce risk of slipping; a low heel height and a strong fastener to ensure the shoe won’t slide off your foot.