Unfortunately, the risk of falling increases with age because of a variety of factors. The fear of falling limits independence and if a fall happens, it can decrease mobility.  Fall prevention is a major factor for many, when decided to move to assisted living.

But here’s the good news: according to WebMD, at least one-third of falls are due to environmental hazards in the home – which means you may be able to avoid some of those risks by paying attention to prevention.

By taking the appropriate steps, you are creating a safe, healthy and independent lifestyle for yourself to enjoy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Make Your Home Fall-Proof

Kitchen

  • Are the items you need to use on a shelf that you can reach easily?
  • If there a stepstool for you to use?
  • Is the stepstool sturdy?
  • Are there chairs for you to sit on while preparing food?

Bathroom

  • Is the shower floor equipped with a non-slip mat?
  • Is there support for you to get in and out of the bathtub?
  • Is the bathroom properly lit?

Bedroom

  • Is there a light near the bed that is easy to reach?
  • Are things properly picked up from your bedroom floor?
  • Is there a clear path from your bedroom door to your bed?
  • Is your bed easy to get out of and in to?

For those areas that you notice are a bigger risk than others, consider installing grab bars or handrails to help you navigate the space.

After going through the fall prevention checklist, keep in mind that there are other ways for you to stay on your feet. Exercise and footwear are both equally important. By exercising regularly you are improving your balance and coordination, but regardless of how stable you are, it’s important to wear proper-fitting footwear with a non-slip bottom. Don’t walk around in socks or stockings, as they are usually slippery, and make sure that your slippers are not too loose or worn out.

Melanie Marzillo
Research & Community Education

Chicago Skilled Nursing
Chicago Senior Living