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Aging Well: Making Your Home Fall-Proof


Table of Contents


Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.   Aging Well: Making Your Home Fall-Proof

Getting around your home safely can be a challenge if you have injuries or health problems that make it easy for you to fall. Many health problems can increase your risk of falling—poor eyesight, balance problems caused by disease like stroke or Parkinson's disease, side effects of medicines, weakness or pain in the legs and feet, and confusion or dementia.

For people with these conditions, common things like loose rugs, poor lighting, and household clutter can become a big safety issue. But there are easy things you can do to make your home a lot safer.

Key points

Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  What hazards at home might make me more likely to fall?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Why is it important to make my home fall-proof?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  How can I make my home fall-proof?
Actionsets help people take an active role in managing a health condition.  Where to go from here

Talk with your doctor

If you have questions about this information, take it with you when you visit your doctor. You may want to mark areas or make notes in the margins where you have questions.

What? - What is the medical information or key concepts related to the action?  What hazards at home might make me more likely to fall?

If you have problems with balance or walking or have poor eyesight, take some time to look around your home and check for things that might make you more likely to fall. Some common hazards in the home include:

Test Your Knowledge

 

  1. Throw rugs can be a danger in the home and might make you more likely to fall.

    1. True.

      This answer is correct.

      If you have poor eyesight or trouble walking, you can easily trip on a throw rug. To make your home more fall-proof, remove throw rugs and other things that you can trip over, such as clutter where you walk.

    2. False.

      This answer is incorrect.

      If you have poor eyesight or trouble walking, you can easily trip on a throw rug. To make your home more fall-proof, remove throw rugs and other things that you can trip over, such as clutter where you walk.


Why? - Why the action is important?  Why is it important to make my home fall-proof?

Falls happen. Most of the time, they are not serious. You pick yourself up and move on. But sometimes falls can be dangerous. Hitting your head can cause a head injury. A fall can break a bone, resulting in surgery and months of physical therapy. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury among adults age 65 and older.1 Broken hip bones from falls lead to the greatest number of deaths.

Preventing falls can help you live a more independent life. You are less likely to have an injury that can prevent you from carrying on your daily activities such as bathing, cooking, shopping, or just going for a walk.

Test Your Knowledge

 

  1. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury among adults age 65 and older.

    1. True.

      This answer is correct.

      Sometimes falls can be dangerous. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury among adults age 65 and older. Broken hip bones from falls lead to the greatest number of deaths.

    2. False.

      This answer is incorrect.

      Sometimes falls can be dangerous. Falls are the leading cause of deaths due to injury among adults age 65 and older. Broken hip bones from falls lead to the greatest number of deaths.


How? - Learn the steps involved in taking action.  How can I make my home fall-proof?

You can make some simple changes in your home and in the way you do some daily activities to reduce your risk of falling.

To prevent falls around your home:

To reduce the chance of a fall during your daily activities:

Many falls occur during bathing. To prevent falls in the bathroom:

Test Your Knowledge

 

  1. Wearing shoes that fit well can help prevent falls.

    1. True.

      This answer is correct.

      Wearing low-heeled shoes that fit well can give your feet good support. It also helps to wear shoes, slippers, or other footwear with nonskid soles. Check the heels and soles of your shoes for wear. Repair or replace worn heels or soles.

    2. False.

      This answer is incorrect.

      Wearing low-heeled shoes that fit well can give your feet good support. It also helps to wear shoes, slippers, or other footwear with nonskid soles. Check the heels and soles of your shoes for wear. Repair or replace worn heels or soles.


  2. When you get into a tub or shower, put the stronger leg in first.

    1. True.

      This answer is incorrect.

      Get into a tub or shower by putting the weaker leg in first. Get out of a tub or shower with your strong side first.

    2. False.

      This answer is correct.

      Get into a tub or shower by putting the weaker leg in first. Get out of a tub or shower with your strong side first.


Where? - Other resources and organizations that can help you take action.  Where to go from here

Now that you have read this information, you are ready to start making changes in your home to help prevent falls.

References

Citations

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2012). Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html.

Credits for Aging Well: Making Your Home Fall-Proof

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Last Revised February 6, 2013

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