Home Improvements

No-Fall Zone

From: GHP's livingwell magazine

Make each room in your house a no-fall zone.

Each year, one of every three people over age 65 takes a fall.  Millions more under 65 are hurt in tumbles.  Treatment of the injuries and complications associated with falls costs more than $20.2 billion annually.

Since most falls occur around the home, here are some tips to make each room in your home safer.

    Have a lamp and flashlight near your bed.
    Find a bed that is easy to get in and out of.
    Install a night-light between your bedroom and the bathroom.
    Keep the floor free of clutter.

Living Areas
    Arrange furniture so you have a clear pathway between rooms.
    Keep coffee tables, footrests and plants out of traffic paths.
    Do not store boxes near doorways or in hallways.
    Remove all clutter from pathways.
    Keep all cords out of walkways.
    Don't run extension cords under rugs or across paths; rearrange furniture.
    Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backing.

    Remove throw rugs.
    Clean up any liquid, grease or food spills immediately.
    Store food, dishes and cooking equipment within easy reach.
    Don't stand on chairs to reach upper cabinets.

Stairs and Steps
    Keep stairs clear of clutter.
    Keep flashlights nearby in case of a power outage.
    Remove loose area rugs from the bottom or top of stairs.
    Install handrails on both sides of the stairway.
    Repair loose carpeting or wooden boards.

    Place a slip-resistant rug next to the bathtub.
    Install grab bars on the bathroom walls.
    Keep a night-light in the bathroom.
    Use a nonskid rubber mat or adhesive textured strips on the tub.
    Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using either a raised seat or a special toilet seat with armrests.
    Use a sturdy, plastic seat in the bathtub if you cannot lower yourself to the floor of the tub or if you are unsteady.