We’ve all fallen down at least once. Hopefully, it was when we were younger and could heal up quickly. That being said, the people who fall the most (beyond toddlers) are the elderly. This is unfortunate because the elderly are the least equipped to recover from falls. The team at Justice Healthcare Group used to work in hospitals, and we saw many senior citizens injured by falls who needed a lot of care. Sometimes, the elderly would fall when they returned home after procedures. Even young adults can fall after surgery and end up back in the hospital. It’s discouraging, expensive, and totally preventable.
When we created Justice Healthcare Group, we knew we had to include a Home Safety Program with our other home health care services. Almost a third of seniors in the United States fall every year and half of the falls that send seniors to the hospital happen at home. In light of that, we want to take some time today to share some essential tips for preventing falls for people of any age.
How to Prevent Falls in Your Home
Add handrails and grab bars in key locations.
- You don’t have to remodel your home to make it safe. Instead, you can install safety devices in key places. Consider stairs, toilets, and bathtubs/showers. These are locations where falls happen the most often, and it doesn’t take much to install a single rail that could make all the difference. You can do the installation yourself or have a handyman or family member do it for you.
Use the right lighting.
- Narrow hallways and steep stairs present particularly big fall risks, and when they aren’t well-lit, the risk gets even higher. Bright lights can make a huge difference in helping anyone keep their footing. We also recommend that you install nightlights in bathrooms, hallways, and bedrooms. You should be able to go to the bathroom at night without running the risk of injuring yourself.
- Clutter makes for an instant trapping hazard that’s all too easy to remove. Stacks of newspapers, mail, or other items should be kept off the floor. Hallways and stairs are especially important areas to keep completely clear.
Put on your shoes.
- If you like to go barefooted or wear socks, it may not always be the best choice. Bare feet leave you vulnerable to hitting your toes or stepping on painful objects. Socks are comfortable, but they can be slippery and cause falls. You can invest in socks with rubber grips to solve the problem, but you can also just wear your shoes. Shoes not only provide grip, they also provide good support.
Stick to one level.
- If you’re weak or unsteady on your feet, living on multiple levels that require you to climb stairs isn’t a good idea. Even if it’s just for your recovery period, try to arrange things so you can live on one level of your home. Before an operation is a key time to get things set for that. If you can’t limit yourself to one level, try to minimize your trips up and down the stairs. Keeping stairs to a minimum, especially at night, is the best way to avoid the falls that so easily happen on them.
Invest in non-slip mats.
- Showers and bathtubs aren’t the only floors that can get very dangerous when they’re wet. Kitchens, porches, and bathrooms can also present significant danger when they get wet. Putting in non-slip mats in key locations will prevent you from falling on a rainy day or because of a drink spill.
Wear well-fitted clothing.
- Loose clothing can be really comfortable, but if it is so loose that it drags on the ground, it can make you fall. We suggest you invest in comfortable clothing that is hemmed properly. That way, you can still enjoy the relaxation without the risk of tripping over your own hems.
Make repairs and adjustments.
- Many of the home fixtures we take for granted can prompt falls. These include throw rugs, loose carpet, and floorboards that are out of alignment. Repair the carpet, add sticky pads under the rugs, and get the floorboards repaired.
Let Us Help
At Justice Healthcare Group, we are dedicated to providing Houston with world-class home health care, including safety precautions. Learn more today!