by BECCA KATZ

July 5, 2022

Fall Prevention

Thousands of Americans over age 65 fall every year at home, so fall prevention is important. Many seniors are seriously injured, some are disabled, some die. In fact, in 2002 more than 12,000 older Americans died and 1.6 million had to be treated in the ER as the result of a fall at home. The cost of these falls is enormous – in dollars and in pain. You can evaluate your home for hazards that can be easily removed. Use this checklist, modeled on the fall prevention checklist of the CDC

Checklist for Fall Prevention

FLOORS

Do you have to walk around furniture?

Move it or have it move to make a 3 foot wide path to walk through.

Do you have throw rugs?

It’s best to remove them. If you don’t want to do that, tape them down or buy rugs with a non-slip backing

Is there “stuff” on the floor?

Shoes, cat toys, dog balls, books and other loose objects are tripping hazards. Pick them up and put them away when you are done using them.

Are there wires and cords in the way?

Coil them up or tape them down.

STAIRS

Is the lighting good?

Replace burned out light bulbs, add lamps/fixtures to improve lighting.

How is the carpet?

Have it replaced or if it is loose.

Are the handrails loose or absent?

Repair loose or broken handrails. It’s best if there are handrails on both sides of the stairs

KITCHEN

Rearrange shelves so the things you use most are on the shelves that are easiest to reach.

Use a steady stepstool with handrails if you need help reaching high items. Don’t use a chair- that’s a disaster waiting to happen.

                                               BATHROOM

Slippery tub or shower floor?

Use non-slip mats or self-stick strips. Clean or have cleaned the tub to remove slippery soap residue

Unsteady or weak legs?

Have sturdy grab bars installed in the tub/shower and near the toilet, not the suction cup style.

                                               BEDROOM

Can you easily reach the bedside lamp, alarm clock and TV remote?

You don’t want to fall out of bed while reaching or trip in the dark. Install nightlights so you can easily find your way to the bathroom at night.

                                               GENERAL

Have your vision checked and replace your glasses when necessary

Put in brighter light bulbs. Using dim bulbs to save money on electricity is false economy. Compare the cost of a hip fracture from tripping in te dark.

Exercise to strengthen your back, hips and legs to make stair climbing easier. There are many videos on YouTube specifically designed for seniors.

Discuss your medications with your doctor to see if any may cause sleepiness or dizziness and come up with a plan to

Put emergency numbers where you can see them

Make sure your phone is always where you can reach it.

Consider a medical alert device in case you fall and can’t get up.

About the author 

beccak - Becca Katz

Becca Katz is the owner of Becca Katz Printables, a shop specializing in paper products that can be downloaded and printed. These include calendars, planners, kids educational materials and games, party goods, and puzzles.
She also designs clothing to sell in the Katnovations Etsy shop, birthday shirts sold in the It's Your Birthday Etsy shop, books on Amazon KDP and a wide range of other products on Redbubble and Amazon.

  • I like these tips.
    After my Granddad passed away, my Grandma lived alone until she was about 92, and one night she fell and injured herself. This made her decide to a) wear an alert bracelet short-term
    and b) sign up for a spot at a nursing home.
    She went on to live seven more years ♥

    • Great tips. Hubby and I are both in our 70’s and he has RA so walking is tough. After he stilled walking downstairs, my granddaughter came up with an idea to add a strip of lights along the edge of the stairs. It’s gives off just enough light at night to see the steps.

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