Reducing falls risk at home

Safety tips to minimize the risk of falling

Room-by-room guide to eliminate the most causes of falls

Falls in and around the home are the most frequently occurring accident. The good news is that many falls are preventable. Protect yourself with the tips below.

Bedroom: What’s wrong?

  1. Cluttered nightstand. Too many objects leaves no room for more useful items such as a table lamp.
  2. Objects on floor. Clutter can lead to tripping. Worn carpeting or loose throw rugs also pose a hazard.
  3. Non-accessible phone. Without a phone near your bed, getting up or rushing to answer phone could lead to a fall.
  4. Awkward furniture arrangement. Prevents easy access to doorway and does not offer safe pathway around room.

Bedroom: Much Better

  1. Clean nightstand. Neater surface leaves room for table lamp or other necessary items that can be accessed from bed.
  2. Less cluttered floor. Shoes are placed away from walking areas. Secure rugs with double-sided tape or remove entirely.
  3. Accessible phone or Lifeline device. Phone within reach of bed or, with Lifeline service, phone could be answered with a push of a button.
  4. Better furniture placement. Removing chair creates a safer path to doorway.

Bedroom: What’s wrong?

  1. Little nighttime lighting. Poor or no night lighting can lead to falls.
  2. Assistive equipment not within reach of bed.
  3. Disheveled bedding. Bedding allowed to drape on floor is a tripping hazard.

Bedroom: Much Better

  1. Appropriate nighttime lighting. Table lamp close to bed and wall mounted, light-sensitive nightlight added to improve visibility.
  2. Assistive equipment within reach.
  3. Keep bedding tucked in. Removal of draped bedding and a cleaner floor in general reduces falls risk.

Stairway: What’s wrong?

  1. No handrail. Nothing to hold onto when using stairs.
  2. Cluttered stairs. Objects and throw rugs on stairs or landing can increase risk of falling.
  3. Poor lighting. Low light levels can increase risk of tripping or missing steps.

Stairway: Much Better

  1. Handrail. Add handrails to all stairs, securely attached to wall at proper height.
  2. Clean stairs. Patrol stairs regularly to ensure objects are removed at all times.
  3. Stairway lighting. Make sure walkways are well-lit. Ceiling lights (with well-placed wall switches at the top and bottom of stairs) can help increase visibility.

Living Room: What’s wrong?

  1. Non-secured rug. Curled rug is easy to trip over.
  2. Exposed cords. Extension or telephone cords can easily entangle feet.
  3. Clutter. Craft projects and basket are blocking path to sofa.

Living Room: Much Better

  1. Remove or secure rugs. Eliminates tripping hazard.
  2. Hidden cords. Telephones and electronic devices are placed nearer to wall sockets, and all cords are removed from walkways.
  3. Organized room. Less overall clutter and organized projects reduce falls risk.

Bathroom: What’s wrong?

  1. No grab bars. Senior could fall when exiting shower or toilet.
  2. Poor nighttime lighting.
  3. Loose bathmat. Increases slipping hazard.
  4. No assistive equipment in shower. Showering or bathing can become more dangerous.

Bathroom: Much Better

  1. Grab bars. Ensures safer egress from shower or toilet.
  2. Nightlight. Installing a light-sensitive nightlight that automatically turns on when needed increases visibility.
  3. Bathmat. Use non-slip bathmat or remove altogether.
  4. Assistive equipment in shower. A sturdy shower seat and hand-held shower head with hose reduces risk of falls.

Kitchen: What’s wrong?

  1. Poor placement. Often-used items are placed too high.
  2. Non-secured rug. Curled rug is easy to trip over.
  3. Pet dishes. Dishes placed in commonly used area of kitchen.

Kitchen: Much Better

  1. Better organization. Often-used items are moved to lower cabinets.
  2. Remove or secure rugs. Eliminates tripping hazard.
  3. Pet dishes. Dishes placed out of the way to remove chance of tripping or spillage.

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