Fall-Proofing Your Home - 6 Simple Steps

Reblogger Robert Fowler - 55CommunityGuide.com
Services for Real Estate Pros with President of Retirement Media Inc.


Wendy Smith has some very good ideas of how to fall proof your home. This is so important. I like the suggestion about replacing towel bars with attractive modern grab bars. Photos of those look very nice and you would never suspect they were grab bars.

Original content by Wendy Smith

One of the biggest concerns as we age is falling.   Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.  We have to face it: the older we get, the higher the incidence of falls.  Some of the clients I’ve met as a hospice volunteer are folks who, before their fall, were active, still driving and living independently.

You've probably heard the phrase Aging-in-Place, aging in place is also referred to as Universal Design as many of the modifications made to a home have nothing to do with age, more about safety and mobility.   

Sometimes all it takes is one fall.  According to statistics, for those living independently before a hip fracture, 15 to 25 percent will still be in long-term care institutions a year after their fracture.   

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.   

Check these 6 critical areas:  

1.     Thresholds & Flooring - Make sure throw rugs are tacked down, wrinkling carpet should be re-stretched.  Get rid of any extension cords that do not run along the baseboard – eliminate any extension cords that cross doorways or halls!  Threshold ramps are available in assorted designs and colors to match flooring and readily available under $100.   

2.     Illumination - Lighting requirements increase with age. An 85- year-old requires three times more light than a 15-year-old to see the same thing.   Use night-lights.  I read that a high percentage of falls happened between the bedroom and bathroom…not enough light.  

Motion detectors and devices such as The Clapper make it easy to turn on lights when wall switches are not within easy reach.   

3.     Bathrooms are potentially one of the most dangerous rooms in the house for seniors.  By simply installing a higher profile toilet and grab bars, risk is significantly reduced.  

stylish grab bars for bathroom

Replace towel bars with attractive, modern grab bars.  Standard towel bars are not designed to hold weight – they won’t do much good if you reach out to stop a fall.  

Consider a bathroom upgrade to include a walk-in shower –
bathroom upgrades help to increase the value of the home.  

4.     Avoid clutter. Remove any furniture that is not needed. All remaining furniture should be stable and without sharp corners, to minimize the effects of a fall.  Keep coffee tables, footstools and low-lying furniture out of the walkways.   

5.     Kitchens – Keep commonly used items within easy reach to minimize the need to stoop low or reach high.  A grabber or reacher with a long handle & rubber grips will help with some out-of-reach items but nearly every kitchen needs a step stool.  Be sure your step stool has rubber feet, is sturdy and has a handrail.  We all know better than to climb on chairs or tables.  Double-sided tape will keep the kitchen mat in place.  

By taking small steps today, before we are elderly,
we can help extend our independence by
ensuring we live in a safe environment. 

 6.      Balance.  This doesn’t have anything to do with your home, it is about you – one of the best methods to avoid falls is to improve your balance.    

Check out this site for a few simple balance exercises, easy to work in to the busiest of days!

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 








Counting Blessings & Serving My Community,

Wendy Smith



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