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Hampton Roads Estate Planning and Administration Law Blog

Friday, December 28, 2018

Preventing Falls in the Home

Unfortunately, as we get older, falls become more serious as they can result in health complications such as fractured arms or hips, internal bleeding, and head trauma. To minimize your risk of falling while at home, consider taking the following steps.

Add assistive devices

 Assistive devices can be installed throughout your residence to provide for better support in day-to-day activities. Some examples include:

  • A handrail for the stairs provides extra support when going up and down the stairs
  • Handrails in the shower and bathtub provide support in an area that is notoriously easy to slip and fall
  • A seat in the shower or bathtub reduces your time standing and helps to reduce the risk of slipping and falling
  • A handheld showerhead can be combined with a shower seat to allow you to bathe while sitting down, significantly reducing your time standing in the shower or tub

Adding non-slip mats to slick areas also drastically reduces the risk of slipping and falling. For the bathtub and shower, consider purchasing and installing non-slip mats.

Clean up clutter

Keeping a tidy residence can do wonders to reduce falls at home. Falls often result from tripping on clothes on the floor or something as random as a dog’s toy. By ensuring your residence is tidy and cleaned up, you will minimize your risk of falling.

Remove tripping hazards

Similar to cleaning up clutter, removing tripping hazards helps to reduce the risk of falls at home. This can require minor changes to the house, such as repositioning certain appliances or furniture to ensure that a power cord doesn’t run across the floor. Similarly, a carpet that is lifting up can cause you to trip and fall. Tripping hazards such as these should be remedied to reduce the risk of falling.

Ensure you have proper lighting

Simply being unable to see certain clutter or hazards is often the issue. To ensure that you see issues before they turn in to an obstacle, install adequate lighting throughout your residence. To do so, make sure all burnt out light bulbs are replaced and consider purchasing a floor lamp to provide better illumination in areas with poor lighting.

Ensure that your footwear is non-slip

While socks provide great comfort, they also provide a great risk for slipping. To reduce the risk of slipping and falling, ensure that any footwear you have is non-slip. There are a litany of companies offering comfortable socks and slippers with rubber bottoms for this exact purpose.  

The aforementioned tips can drastically help to reduce the risk of falling at home. Ultimately, reducing the risk of falling is a result of recognizing that life has changed and that certain precautions need to be taken. Unfortunately, accepting that life has changed is often the most difficult part.

 


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