More than 65 percent of senior adults who come into the emergency room are seen for injuries they sustained at home, usually due to a fall. As vision and balance decline with age, the risk of falls increases for older people in the home.
Falls Prevention: Making a Home Safe
Let’s learn how to make our homes more safe. We would like to share three common falls hazards that we have found in homes. Keep in mind that not all ‘trouble spots’ have an easy fix, but it is still important to be aware of potential risks.
For more information and common household hazards, please watch our video.
Fall Fix #1: Uneven Stairs & No Hand Rail
- Ideally a hand rail should be placed on both sides of the stairs. If only one side is possible, it should be on the left as that is the side on which the door opens.
- Notice the concrete is cracked and breaking, take a close look and make sure there are no loose areas that could fall off and make for uneven footing.
Fall Fix #2: Entry & Hallway Hazards
- A very common scene greets us as we enter the home.
- The throw rug is wrinkled, which could cause a problem.
- Clutter and papers are blocking a clear path, which could be a fire or trip hazard.
Fall Fix #3: Preventing Slips & Trips in the Bathroom – Ending on a Positive Note
- Grab bars are present in the tub and an added grab bar (located on the right) makes a great assistive device to help the homeowner get in and out safely.
- The bathtub is free of clutter.
- The towel rack is sturdy and close to the bathtub to make it easily accessible without having to reach.
Visit UVM Medical Center’s Falls Prevention Program to find out how to avoid such injuries.