A home should be a safe haven. But for many seniors, falls and other accidents at home can be devastating, even deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in three adults ages 65 and older has a fall every year, and two million are treated in an emergency room for fall-related injuries. Older adults can live safe, healthy, independent lives in a home environment that is free of clutter and other hidden dangers. Now that the weather is warming up, it is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning for better home safety.
- Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
- Store items within easy reach and avoid using step stools or stepladders.
- Make sure you have good, bright lighting in your home. Use nightlights in your bedroom, hall and bathroom. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Make sure rugs are firmly fastened to the floor or use nonskid backing.
- Move electrical or phone cords so they are not lying on the floor in walking areas.
- Ask family members or neighbors to arrange furniture so you can safety navigate through the house without bumping into anything.
- Change the batteries in all smoke alarms.
- Make sure your porch and sidewalks are clear of debris and plant overgrowth.
It’s also important to get some exercise to strengthen your body and lessen the risk of falling. Be mindful of medications that can have side effects like dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase your chances of falling. Also be sure to get your eyes checked every year, because poor vision can make it more difficult to get around safely.
For more information about home safety visit www.libertyathome.org or contact Dana O’Donnell, Executive Director, Liberty at Home, 215-643-6335 ext. 147.