Go through this checklist to help prevent you or your loved one from falling in their home, one of the leading causes of skilled nursing admissions.
Look at the floor in each room. Always keep a clear path through each room of your house, removing any objects, furniture, cords or rugs that may be in the way.
STAIRS AND STEPS
Take a careful look at the steps both inside and outside your home. Clear any objects off the stairs and make sure the carpet is securely attached to every step. Check that handrails are on both sides and run the length of the steps, and show no signs of loosening. Make sure that the steps are well lit, with a switch or light sensor at both the top and bottom.
KITCHEN AND BATHROOMS
Examine your kitchen and bathrooms: are things you use often on high shelves? Rearrange these items to be lower to the ground, ideally waist level. If you need to use a step stool, find one with a bar. Add a few safety items to your bathroom, if you don’t already have them: non-slip rubber mat in the tub or shower and grab bars in and beside the tub and next to the toilet.
Is the path from your bed to the bathroom well lit? Add a light to your nightstand and night-lights along the way.
***Checklist modified from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults