Now that Autumn has arrived, leaves are falling everywhere. That’s why we call it “Fall”!
Fall is beautiful and serene when it’s leaves, or acorns… But not so much when it’s you or someone you love! According to the CDC, falls are the number one cause of hip fractures and brain injuries in people aged 65 and older. Even if you aren’t seriously injured by a fall, the event can be painful and make you nervous about enjoying your regular activities.
If you or a loved one ever fall, you could find yourself confronting some serious injuries and large medical bills. Fortunately, most falls can be prevented if you take some cautionary steps, such as the ones below.
Remove tripping hazards from your home. This means excess clutter, loose carpet, “bumpy” thresholds, throw rugs, cords, or anything else that could cause a fall. If it’s in your path, it’s a tripping hazard.
Evaluate your attire. Pants that are too long, high heels, ill-fitting slippers, and any other loose or baggy attire can cause falls. It’s better to move those items to the back of the closet, or just get rid of them. And don’t walk around the house wearing socks! They’re comfortable, but very prone to slipping. Evaluate your footwear and purchase non-slip shoes instead.
Install handrails and grab bars. Hand rails should be mandatory for any home with stairs. Grab bars can be installed in the bathroom, to help you get in and out of the shower, or up and down off of the toilet, without slipping or falling.
Install proper lighting. Many falls happen at night, when we get up to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water. Install night lights in areas like hallways, bathrooms, and the kitchen. Be especially careful with stairways.
Consider a one-level home. If you’re over sixty or so, consider the fact that your home might become your retirement home someday. If you decide to sell and move at some point, ask yourself if you really want to deal with two different levels once you’re in your 80s or even 90s.
Evaluate outdoor areas. Remember that these tips should be used for patios, porches, and decks, too. Keep outdoor spaces free of clutter, and have decks pressure washed regularly to prevent slippery spots.
Fall prevention is injury prevention. Since an injury can seriously impact your quality of life for months or longer, take this risk very seriously. Make the necessary modifications to your home, and you will worry much less about falls now and in the future.