Home Modifications and Safe Floor Coverings for Fall Prevention
One out of every three people aged 65 or older falls every year in the United States. These falls are the leading cause of injuries, both fatal and nonfatal, in senior citizens. Many of these falls and injuries occur in the home. It's important that seniors and their families take precautions and make modifications to make the home safer for the older adults who live there. These can modifications allow senior adults to maintain their independence and their mobility. Many of the necessary changes are also simple and low in cost.
Vision problems are common among elderly people. Inadequate lighting or not having lighting in the correct places can cause falls. Many people find that they need brighter light bulbs as they age, so switching out bulbs is one way to make a home safer. Motion lights and nightlights both help prevent falls at night. And electrical cords should be tucked against walls so that they don't become a tripping hazard.
- Fall Prevention Series: Lighting: A lamp that can be turned on or off without getting out of bed can help prevent a fall.
- Better Lighting for Seniors Reduces Fall Risks: Battery-powered motion sensor lights are great for areas where no lighting exists or switches are in a weird place.
- How Motion Detector Lights Can Help Seniors Avoid Falls: One reason motion detector lights help cut down on falls is that they keep people from fumbling for a light and tripping over things on the floor.
- Home Lighting Improvements May Reduce Falls in Elderly: Vision problems lead to a lot of falls, and good lighting can help mitigate those issues.
- A Guiding Nightlight Decreases Fear of Falling and Increases Sleep Quality of Community-Dwelling Older People: A Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation: A nightlight reduces a lot of fear and decreases the likelihood of falls.
- Tips for Avoiding Nighttime Falls: Bad lighting is responsible for many nighttime falls.
- 30 Lighting Tips for Seniors: The older people get, the more they need brighter lights for daily living and tasks like sewing or reading.
- Understanding the Lighting Needs of the Aging Eye: As people age, the lenses of their eyes lose elasticity, which causes visual distortions and issues with focusing.
- Seniors Are at Increased Risk During Power Outages Without Home Emergency Lighting: Flashlights by each bed and battery-operated lights can help prevent seniors from falling during power outages.
Area rugs are lovely but can prevent a slipping hazard. If a senior won't give up their small area rugs, make sure they are secured with non-skid tape to reduce the risk. People who regularly polish their hardwood floors should stop, as slick floors are a huge risk factor for falling. Skid-proof tile is a great choice for flooring, as is low-pile carpeting.
- What Flooring Is Safest for Seniors? Small area rugs can be a tripping hazard for older adults.
- The Best Flooring Options for Aging Adults: Slip-resistance is key for flooring in homes where elderly people reside.
- The Safest Floors for the Aging (No Slipping and No Worrying!): Transitions between flooring types can be tripping hazards.
- From the Ground Up: Optimal Flooring Choices for Homes With Wheelchair Use: Slippery floors are a hazard for people walking and for those using wheelchairs.
- Smart Design: Cushioned flooring makes walking around the home and doing tasks like dishes easier for the elderly or those with arthritis.
- Floor Choices to Soften Impact on Achy Feet and Joints: Cushioned-backed vinyl flooring or large rugs can be safe, comfortable choices of flooring.
- Types of Safety Flooring for Aging in Place: Non-slip tiles help reduce the chances that an elderly person will fall.
- Disability-Friendly Flooring: Is Bamboo on the List? Bamboo flooring is durable, and it's possible to refinish it.
A lot of falls happen in the bathroom because it's typically a very slippery room that frequently gets wet. One important safety feature to add in the bathroom is grab bars. They should be placed around the bathtub and toilet and need to be securely attached so that they can take the body weight of the person who will be using them.
- Bathroom Safety Tips to Prevent Falls in the Elderly: Slip-resistant shower mats are an easy, inexpensive way to reduce the chance of an elderly person falling in the bathroom.
- How to Reduce Falls With Bathroom Safety Equipment for Seniors: A nightlight in the bathroom can prevent late-night falls but also protects the elderly in case of a power outage while they are in the bathroom.
- Five Bathroom Safety Tips for Seniors to Help Prevent Slips and Falls: Using a shower chair helps prevent people from slipping and falling while bathing.
- Bathroom Safety 101: How to Reduce Your Risk of a Fall: A foam cover for the tub faucet can lessen injury in case of a fall.
- Protecting Against Falls in the Bedroom and Bathroom: Non-skid strips in the tub and on a tile floor can help reduce the chances of falling.
- Making Bathrooms Safe for Seniors: Grab bars installed around the toilet and in the shower can help seniors navigate the bathroom.
- Don't Become a Statistic: How to Prevent Bathroom Slips and Falls: Keeping the bathroom clean and tidy is one major way to prevent accidents.
- The Four Most Surprising Bathroom Hazards for the Elderly: Very hot water is one cause of bathroom injuries in the elderly.
- Bathroom Safety for Adults: A raised toilet seat often is easier for older adults to use safely.
Additional Safety Information for Seniors and Older Adults
- Home Safety Tips for the Elderly: Basic things like making sure pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove can make a home much safer for elderly residents.
- Home Safety for Seniors: What You Should Know: Seniors should consider how to make their homes safer in terms of preventing falls and fires and reducing the likelihood that they'll experience a burglary or home invasion.
- A Guide to Helping Senior Citizens Stay Safe at Home: These tips can help seniors make changes to ensure that they can safely age in place.
- Tip Sheet: Home Safety Tips for Older Adults: Keeping floors free of items of mugs and books is one way to prevent falls.
- Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults: The CDC published this guide full of best practices for seniors to use to prevent falls.
- Eight Tips for Enhancing Home Safety for Elderly Family Members and Older Adults: A working fire alarm is important for all homes, especially for those where older adults live.
- Crime Prevention Book for Seniors: Reflective tape applied to mobility devices like scooters or walkers helps elderly pedestrians be seen by passing motorists so they won't be hit as they cross the street.
- Tips for Seniors: All homes, especially ones where senior citizens dwell, need to have their address clearly marked on the exterior so that emergency services won't waste valuable time making sure they have the right house.
- Four Medication Safety Tips for Older Adults: Keeping a detailed list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, along with any vitamins or natural remedies taken, and sharing that list with the doctor and pharmacist will help elderly people prevent their medications from reacting badly with each other.
- Summer Safety Tips for Seniors: High temperatures can present special challenges for senior citizens.