The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons says that 11 million people over the age of 65 suffer a fall every year, resulting in $20 billion in fall-associated healthcare costs.
The AAOS has provided room-by-room safety tips for fall-proofing your home:
- Place a lamp, telephone and flashlight near your bed.
- Sleep on a bed that is easy to get into and out of.
- Replace satiny sheets and comforter with products made of non-slip material; i.e., wool, cotton.
- Arrange clothes in your closet so that they are easy to reach.
- Install a night-light along the route between your bedroom and the bathroom.
- Keep clutter off the bedroom floor.
- Arrange furniture so you have a clear pathway between rooms.
- Keep low-rise coffee tables, magazine racks, foot rests and plants out of the path of traffic.
- Install easy-access light switches at entrances to rooms so you won't have to walk into a darkened room in order to turn on the light. Glow-in-the-dark switches may be helpful.
- Walk only in well-lighted rooms, stairs and halls.
- Do not store boxes near doorways or in hallways.
- Remove newspapers and all clutter from pathways.
- Keep cords out of walkways, but don't put cords under a rug.
- Don't run extension cords across pathways; rearrange furniture.
- Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.
- Don't sit in a chair or on a sofa that is so low it is difficult to stand up.
- Repair loose wooden floorboards right away.
- Remove doorsills higher than 1/2" inch.
- Remove throw rugs.
- Immediately clean up any liquids, grease, or food spilled on the floor.
- Store food, dishes, and cooking equipment within easy reach.
- Don't stand on chairs or boxes to reach upper cabinets.
- Use nonskid floor wax.
Stairs and Steps
- Keep stairs clear of packages, boxes or clutter.
- Light switches should be at the top and bottom of the stairs. Or consider installing motion-detector lights that turn on automatically.
- Provide enough light to see each stair and the top and bottom landings.
- Keep flashlights nearby in case of a power outage.
- Remove loose area rugs from the bottom or top of stairs.
- Replace patterned, dark or deep-pile carpeting with a solid color, which will show the edges of steps more clearly.
- Put non-slip treads on each bare wood step.
- Install handrails on both sides of the stairway. Each should be 30 inches above the stairs and extend the full length of the stairs.
- Repair loose stairway carpeting or wooden boards immediately.
- Place a slip-resistant rug adjacent to the bathtub for safe exit and entry.
- Mount a liquid soap dispenser on the bathtub/shower wall.
- Install grab bars on the bathroom walls.
- Keep a night-light in the bathroom.
- Use a rubber mat or place nonskid adhesive textured strips on the tub.
- Replace glass shower enclosures with non-shattering material.
- Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using either a raised seat or a special toilet seat with armrests.
- Use a sturdy, plastic seat in the bathtub if you cannot lower yourself to the floor of the tub or if you are unsteady.
The attorneys of Roberts & Roberts have the skill, experience and resources to fully investigate any serious accident or death. If you have a question about an accident involving a serious injury or fatality, please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation.