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Preventing Overlooked Fall Risks Around The Home

Not every bone, muscle, or joint injury is the result of strenuous sports activity.  As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to damage from things that we may have previously overlooked.  What may have been consistently labeled as basic wear and tear could eventually accumulate to the point where a serious injury occurs.

Elderly individuals, and even some younger ones who simply stumble at the wrong place at the wrong time, are susceptible to numerous types of hazards around the home.  And although an area like a construction site may be more dangerous, even certain threats in a household can’t be overlooked.  To that end, a new report out of Tallahassee, Florida relates some of the ways that fall-based injuries can be prevented around the house.

Older persons should be able to live in environments that are free of clutter.  Paths should be unblocked by furniture and other materials that could trip somebody up.  When it comes to magazines, dog bones, and those other objects that generally tend to pile up in a given living area, clean up needs to occur on a regular basis so that a person won’t be tripped.  Cords deserve particular attention, as they can easily unfurl and wend their way through a walking space.  A little bit of tape can be used to ensure these cords don’t pose a threat.

The surface being walked on also has a role to play.  Over time, carpet can bunch up and pose a tripping hazard of its own.  Carpet should be smoothed out when possible to prevent an injury.  The same goes for any throw rugs in the vicinity.  Just like with wires, a little bit of tape can be used to secure these items to the floor.  That way, the rug won’t slide out from beneath a person’s feet.

Stairs deserve attention as well.  If the stairs are carpeted, the same precautions should be taken as are taken at all other areas of the residence.  More important, though, could be the handrails that line the steps.  Handrails should be installed on both sides of the steps as applicable.

You can also use visibility to your advantage to prevent a fall.  Invest in night lights that can tell when someone is moving around and illuminate the path to the bathroom or the kitchen or wherever else appropriately.  Have light switches installed at either end of the stairs so that they can be approached safely.

Finally, think about the installation of non slip surfaces and grab bars in the tub and shower.  Doing so can go a long way toward preventing a fall from occurring.


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