While installing support rails, fixing broken steps and securing lifted corners of the carpet are all excellent ways to prevent falls, there also are some VERY simple things you can do in your own home in an instant to make you less susceptible to injury. Surprisingly, falling is the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Adults over 65 and young children are the most vulnerable to injury from a fall, but prevention is a good idea for any age.
Here's our top 10 list of very simple things to do to prevent injury from a slip and fall. When we say SIMPLE, we mean it. You can do any and all of these things immediately to have a big impact on safety in your home:
Secure and remove cords out of walkways and traffic areas.
Use non-skid mats on floor rugs or remove floor rugs altogether.
If the shower or tub is slippery, put a non-slip bath mat on the floor.
Use a nightlight.
Never stand on an unsecure chair, table or anything with wheels.
Clean up spills right away.
Keep traffic areas clear. Pick up things that are lying on the floor like books, towels, shoes, blankets. Secure and remove cords out of walkways.
Wear sensible shoes, even indoors. Yes, there's a higher chance you will slip and fall in those high heels! Be extra alert if you wear flip flops, loose slippers or shoes with slick soles.
Exercise helps. Improving strength and balance makes falling much less likely.
Check medication side effects for drowsiness or dizziness.
These solutions are easy and relatively inexpensive. There are several great resources online to make your home even more secure and you can even request professional help. For folks over 65, people with health issues or for those that are caring for someone who is susceptible to a slip and fall, it might be a good idea to go the extra length and make your home secure. Home improvement solutions may cost more, but independence might be the smartest investment you could consider.