Preventing falls in your home is far easier than you may think and by making some simple changes to your home and doing exercise to improve your strength and balance you can make a big difference and reduce the risk by a large percentage.
Some people may be reluctant to seek help or advice from doctors or other support services, because they think it isn’t something that will be taken seriously. This is not true, as falls later in life can be potentially very harmful and have a big impact on someone’s health. If you visit your GP about a fall you have had or if you are simply concerned, ask them if they can carry out some simple balance tests to quickly check whether you are at risk of a fall.
Avoiding falls in your home
Some of these tips are quite standard but you would be surprised by how many people don’t think of these situations. Remove any type of clutter, small pieces of furniture or even cords and pet bowls. These items are often out of your line of sight and can cause you to trip over them and have a dangerous fall.
You should also arrange furniture to give you plenty of room to walk freely, remove excess furniture from stairs, hallways and pathways. This includes mats and rugs which can slip and move when placed on the floor. If you don’t want to get rid of your rugs or mats, use some double sided tape to secure them on the floor and make sure they don’t move.
At home and in other locations try to avoid wet and slippery floors and clean up spills right away. If you have the habit of waxing your floors make sure you use non-skid wax.
During the icy British winters, spread sand or salt on your pathway to avoid slipping on ice. If you can’t do it yourself ask a neighbour or another family member to help you. Be sure to wear boots with good traction when the sidewalks and pathways get icy or snowy.
Handrails and grab bars are easy to install and can prevent many different falls. Install them on the stairs if you have an upper floor in your house. Grab bars can be installed in your bathtub and shower or anywhere in the house, such as long corridors. Use them especially when you need to get out of the tub or need some extra support when walking.
Some of these simple changes could prevent falls in your home and make you feel more secure. If you have fallen in the past, your GP could suggest that an occupational therapist or physiotherapist visit your home. They are the most qualified to assess what your home could need to make it fall proof.
If you would like more help and advice be sure to follow the link to our advice page.