Home Safety for the Elderly

Is your home fall-proof? Get safe…Get the checklist to prevent falls!!!

3 Areas to Check

  1. Environment
  2. Medications
  3. Physical Activity

Fact: 1/3 of falls in the elderly involve environmental hazards in the home.
Tip: Clutter! Clutter! Clutter! Get it off the floor!!!

Fact: people taking multiple medications are at greater risk of falling
Tip: your medicine might be decreasing your mental alertness and balance! Know the side effects of all your medication and keep your physician informed of all your medications including non-prescription, vitamins, and herbs.

Fact: Failure to exercise regularly results in

  • Poor muscle tone
  • Loss of bone mass
  • Loss of bone strength
  • Decreased strength

…contributing to falls and severity of injury due to falls!!

Fall Prevention and the Older Adult

Use this guideline for each area and room of your home!

Top 5 recommendations to prevent a fall

  1. Keep walk path to entrance free of clutter, debris, and fix uneven areas on the walk path.
  2. Improve your vision through regular eye appointments, proper lighting, and well-lighted areas for walking. Reduce glare and use bright color markings at the change in floor heights.
  3. Prevent slips by:
    • Removing throw rugs were not recommended
    • Use non-skid material under all rugs and adhere rug/carpet to prevent trips, place small rugs only in water traffic areas
    • Use non-skid material in tub/shower
    • Clean up water spills immediately
    • Wear proper shoes to prevent slips and improve balance
  4. Use grab rails or bars where recommended typically at stairs/steps and tub/shower area & color label where a change in height of floor is present.  You may also use a textured non-skid surface at the top & bottom of step that is a different color.
  5. Stay physically fit to prevent an onset of weakness and to have a good balance.  You may consider a physical therapy evaluation & program in the home or at an outpatient clinic for gaining strength & balance.  Try to partner up with someone to keep you more consistent in exercising.  Exercise in areas where there are a lot of other exercisers which will keep you motivated.  Exercising should be done in a safe area, alert someone if you are going exercising by yourself and take a cell phone & a walking stick for protection against unwanted animals in your path or possible attackers, exercise at a gym or area where there are other people in the event something happens & you need medical attention and consider having identification on you & a list of emergency contacts & any important medical condition in your wallet or pocket if you are exercising alone.

Emergency Preparedness TIPS

1.  Have emergency plans in place in the event you have a medical condition & are admitted to the hospital.

2. Have a family member or trusted friend or trusted neighbor extra keys in the event you need someone to get in your home to check on you or need to get in your home for emergency supplies, clothes, or medication, etc. if you are admitted to the hospital.  Have important papers & information(medical & financial) in a secure area that someone you trust knows about for your medical care & other care to continue in the event you are unable to do yourself.

3.  Place medical information and important contact information on your fridge or area that is easy to see in the event emergency services are contacted to your home & they need to know important information.

4.  Keep your medicine in one place with records and consider purchasing helpful medical supplies that may assist in your medical care.  Such medical equipment for monitoring conditions may be blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitoring devices, oxygen saturation devices, automatic external defibrillators(AEDs), or other devices that you may need for your condition.  Let your family or caregiver know where equipment is stored so they may immediately retrieve if needed.

See our product page for recommended listings of blood pressure cuffs, AEDs or other equipment.

Automatic external defibrillators