Fall Prevention: Home and Office
Around the House or Office
How many times have we heard that most accidents occur at home? Often. Now add to that the increasing number of people who work at home! Consider the following tips for your home or office.
Home Maintenance ... If possible, hire a professional to clean the gutters. Falls from roofs result in many injuries, some very serious.
Do not stand on a chair to change a light bulb. Always use a sturdy step stool with anti-slip steps and a handrail. Emergency room doctors sadly report that falls from chairs are common.
Lighting ... Proper lighting can be your best defense against tripping and falling. Look around your home - are the stairways, hallways, and entrances lighted? Where are the light switches - they should be easy to find. Did you know that ceiling fixtures provide more light than lamps? Inexpensive night-lights can be placed anywhere you might go during the night, such as the kitchen or bathroom. Also, keep a flashlight next to the bed in case of a nighttime emergency.
The Kitchen ... Falling down on a hard kitchen floor is dangerous. Sometimes the cause is a wet slippery floor. Wipe up spills immediately. Use a non-slip floor wax instead of conventional floor waxing products.
- Step stools that are sturdy with wide anti-slip steps and a handrail are helpful if used correctly. However, if things are kept within easy reach, the need for a step stool could be eliminated. Remember, if you don't need a step stool, the falling distance is shortened!
The Bathroom ... The bathroom can be one of the most dangerous places in the home. Combined with slick porcelain fixtures are water, limited room, a hard floor, and metal. In other words, a prime location for falling. However, most bathrooms can be made safer by considering the following tips:
- Install grab bars in the shower/bath area, near the toilet, and sink. Prior to installation, consider the proper height for each grab bar.
- Anti-slip bathmats and anti-slip tape come in many attractive colors. These can be used in the bathtub and shower to provide traction and stability while standing.
- Check out assisted bathing devices available in many drug stores and home improvement centers. These devices include in-shower seating and a host of other bathing aids.
- Raised toilet seats are easily installed and shorten the distance required to sit (and get up!) comfortably on the toilet.
Of course, even if you have all of these wonderful devices installed, the elderly and physically challenged may still need help. Never hesitate to ask for assistance.
*Special safety tip: The elderly or physically challenged may want to carry an alarm or pager system incase they fall or need assistance.
Stairways ... If you have toddlers in your home, use sturdy gates at the top of stairways to prevent them from falling down the stairs.
- Another stairway danger is the use of baby walkers on wheels. These allow the baby to sit down while walking and roaming. Although entertaining for baby, it is easy for these to quickly travel down stairs.