According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, one out of three seniors falls. And once you’ve fallen, you have an increased risk of falling again.
Here are five home safety tips for seniors to help you reduce your risk and help you keep safe so you can live life to the fullest every day.
1. Do a Prescription Medication Review with Your Doctor
Some medicines can you make you feel drowsy, which increases your risk for a fall. Other medicines like diuretics (“water pills”) and laxatives may cause a sudden need to use the toilet. It’s essential that you take these types of medications at times of the day that reduce risk of danger.
Medications that may cause you to urinate or move your bowels should usually be taken early in the day, so you’re not waking up in the middle of the night with urgency to get to the bathroom. Medicines that cause drowsiness are safer taken in the evening or at night.
Always make sure to speak with your doctor or pharmacist not only about how medications impact your health, but also how they may affect your overall safety.
2. Wear Solid Footwear in the Home
It can be tempting to walk around barefoot or in socks, but doing so can add to your fall risk. If you stub your toe or bang your foot hard enough on a piece of furniture or doorway, or if you step on something, you could fall off balance.
If you don’t like wearing shoes around your home, consider buying a pair of high-quality slippers with strong rubber treads.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Clutter
It may seem harmless to leave your slippers by the door, a pile of books to be read by your chair, or a trash can by the side of your bed, but in the middle of the night or when you’re in a hurry, these things can trip you up. To reduce this risk, ensure that anything kept on the floor is not in a main travel path.
4. Fasten Down Rugs and Carpets
While decorative rugs can be attractive and add a pop of color to a room, they’re also a fall risk. Removal of these rugs can eliminate this risk. If you must keep them, be sure to fasten them with carpet tape and use a non-slip pad underneath.
5. Use Adequate Lighting
Stumbling around in the dark can cause tripping on a forgotten object, or slipping or running into furniture. Low light can create shadows that can hide objects, too. Ensure that the room you’re using is always well lit — especially stairs and hallways.
If you must get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, it can be tempting to leave the lights off, so as not to totally wake up or disturb someone else. In this case, it may make sense to install automatic lights that will turn on as you move through your living space.
While there’s no way to prevent all accidents, you can work to minimize your risk as much as possible. These tips can help keep your living space safe and stress-free.
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