With falls being the leading cause of accidental death among seniors, it’s important to know how to handle falling and what you can do to increase your safety if you are having falls.
Home Modifications to Prevent Falls
A few recommendations from a home mod OT:
- Consult your doctor and a home mod OT.
- Remove clutter especially on stairs.
- Remove throw rugs or tape down with double-sided tape.
- Improve lighting in your home with motion lights or motion light bulbs. This is especially important for transition or often-used areas, such as stairs, hallways and bathrooms.
- Grab bars and handrails are vital to preventing falls. Handrails on both sides of all stairways, grab bars for the shower, toilet and tub are a good way to increase safety for people of all ages.
- All towel racks should be replaced with grab bars. There are several styles of grab bars that are beautiful.
- Colored grab bars provide a contrast, which is incredibly important for people with low vision.
- If you’re installing grab bars for a loved one, look on the walls. If someone has balance issues they will grab the walls for support. You will be able to see where they need handholds by where the handmarks are on the walls.
- Grab bars and handrails should be installed horizontally at 34″-36″. Diagonal grab bars work well for people who have a strong grip strength, horizontal grab bars don’t require grip strength.
- Stay away from hard surfaces like tile. If you fall on tile you are more likely to shatter a bone, or even worse your hip. If you have tile in your bathroom get an exterior rug and cut it to fit your bathroom floor. Use double-sided tape at the edges to ensure it doesn’t become a tripping hazard. A handyman or a teenager should be able to do this job. There are many good-looking exterior rugs available. https://rugs.com/rugs?collections=outdoor&gclid=CjwKCAiAz4b_BRBbEiwA5XlVVoi3J5BBBnoKy0Lftqcs8MtHstGRfp3lgETTuOndvZG-d0gVVQ6v7RoCE_cQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds