When going out in the snow or icy weather, it’s natural to be concerned about slips and falls. But did you know that for older adults, most falls occur indoors?
Although age-related factors such as poor eyesight, weakened muscles and taking certain medications may increase the risk of falling in older adults, many falls at home are preventable. Read on for a few simple ways to help protect seniors from falling.
Remove Hazards at Home
Look around the house. Identify and remove any items that may contribute to falls: throw rugs, loose cords, boxes and any clutter on the floor. Store dishes, food and personal items at a height that is easy to reach.
Wear Sturdy Shoes
Footwear for seniors should fit properly, offer support and have non-skid soles. Flip-flops and loose slippers are notorious trip hazards that can cause seniors to stumble. If a home has wood, tile or other smooth flooring, older adults should wear sturdy shoes instead of socks indoors.
Modify Daily Activities
Small lifestyle adjustments can have a big impact on fall prevention. People at risk of falling should sit down to put on clothing and consider using a bath seat and a hand-held shower extension for bathing. Ensure rooms, hallways and stairways are well lit and flashlights are handy in case of power outages.
Install Assistive Devices
Assistive devices help people with disabilities carry out daily activities. Installing grab bars in the shower or bathtub can help prevent slips and falls while bathing. Nonslip treads on stairs and handrails on the walls can make stairways safer. And using walkers or canes with rubber tips can help improve stability.
Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults in the United States, but these precautionary measures can help reduce the risk. Taking steps to improve safety in the home is one of the most important ways we can help seniors prevent falls and stay healthy, active and independent.