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Preventing Falls in Your Home

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Home is where you can relax and unwind, but it can be an minefield for trip hazards--millions of people each year are injured because of falls in and around the home. Make a few small changes to prevent falls in your home and to help everyone stay a bit safer.

Lighting

Some areas in your home could probably use more lighting. If your home is too dim, you could easily trip on something that would be easily avoided in another room.

  • The tops and bottoms of stairs should be well-lit, as well as room entryways. As a rule of thumb, make sure you don't have to walk across a dark room to turn on a light.
  • Hallways and other walkways should always be well-lit to ensure the safest walking conditions possible. Nightlights are perfect for your hallways and make late-night bathroom trips safer for you and your kids.
  • For exterior lighting, solar powered walkway lamps are readily available at home improvement stores and turn on automatically as the sun sets.

Clutter

Not only hoarders have clutter. Clutter commonly causes trips and spills in your home and cleaning up the mess is an easy way to prevent falls and keep your home tidy.

Put away your children's toys when not in use and properly store or discard stacks of magazines and newspapers. Consider anything that is out of place on the floor a tripping hazard.

Pets

Your four-legged family members are often the cause of many falls. How many times have you been cooking and Fido is under your feet hoping for a taste? Is your cat's favorite napping spot the third step in your main staircase?

Your pets. their toys, and their food dishes are all trip hazards. Obedience training could be helpful for dogs that constantly follow you around. Cats on the other hand, will do their own thing no matter what. Sorry!

Handles

The bathroom is a dangerous place and is common for falls. The combination of water and smooth tile flooring makes for a slippery situation. Consider installing grab bars and hand rails near your shower or tub. It will make getting in and out of the shower easier for everyone in your home, including an elderly family member who should be especially careful avoiding falls.

Rugs and carpeting

Rugs and carpets add beauty and style to your home, but the corners of area rugs bend and lift over time, creating a trip hazard in your home. If you have an area rug with turned up corners, try one of these tricks to make it lay smooth again:

  • Spray the curled edge with some water, lay a towel over it and go over it with your iron to smooth out the edge.
  • Use painter's tape to tape the curled edge to the floor and leave it there for a few hours, overnight or a full day until the curl releases.
  • Lay the rug out flat and place heavy objects on the curled areas. Let it stay like that until the curl releases.

 

Ana M. Ferrer  Posted by Ana M. Ferrer on April 9, 2013

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