Annually, more than 1.6 million seniors are treated in an emergency department for fall-related injuries and nearly 388,000 are hospitalized. Approximately 9,500 deaths among seniors are directly associated with falls each year.  Some home care companies provide home assessments to help make your home a safe place for you or your loved one. Here are some tips on keeping your home safe:

In the Bathroom:

  • Apply textured mats to the floors of tubs and showers. Use mats that will prevent falls in the tub and shower, and on the bathroom floor.
  • Attach grab bars to supports in the actual wall, or install bars specifically designed to attach to the sides of the bathtub. Check existing grab bars for strength and stability, and repair if necessary.

In the Bedroom:

  • Rearrange furniture in a way that is easier to access switches and outlets.
  • Place a phone within easy reach of the bed.  If there is an emergency you want to be able to easily reach the phone.

In Hallways or on the Stairs:

  • Install night lights at outlets near the stairs and consider installing switches at the top of the stairway and the bottom of the landing.
  • Consider replacing existing switches with a "glow switch" that can be seen in the dark.
  • Avoid just wearing socks or slippery shoes when walking on stairs.
  • Check that the carpet is attached firmly to the steps on the stairs.
  • Make sure to paint the steps with a paint that has a coarse texture.
  • Remove all objects from the stairway.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by Lyn Small with Senior Directory