When it comes to keeping our homes safe, we often focus on security measures like locks and alarms, however, it’s equally important to pay attention to the physical safety of our living spaces.
Slips, trips, and falls are among the leading causes of injuries at home, especially among older adults. Fortunately, with some simple precautions and awareness, we can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips to make your home a safer place, minimising the chances of slips, trips, and falls.
Keep Floors Clear and Clutter-Free:
One of the primary causes of falls is cluttered floors. Take a walk around your home and ensure that all walkways, hallways, and entrances are clear of obstacles. Remove any loose cords, rugs, or clutter that might cause you or your family/whānau members to trip or lose balance. Additionally, it is important to secure rugs and mats with non-slip pads or double-sided tape to prevent them from slipping.
Insufficient lighting can lead to missteps and falls, especially during the night or in dimly lit areas. Install adequate lighting in every room, along hallways, and at entrances. Consider using motion- activated lights or nightlights to ensure good visibility, particularly in high-risk areas such as stairs and bathrooms. Regularly check and replace any blown lightbulbs to maintain optimal lighting conditions.
Secure Stairs and Railings:
Staircases can be hazardous areas if not properly maintained. Ensure that all stairs are in good condition, with no loose or uneven steps. Install sturdy handrails on both sides of the staircase to provide support and stability. Make sure railings are securely attached and at an appropriate height. If necessary, consider adding additional lighting on stairs to improve visibility.
The bathroom is another high-risk area for slips and falls due to wet and slippery surfaces. Install grab rails near the toilet, bath and shower to provide support when standing up or getting in and out. Consider using non-slip mats in the bath or shower to prevent falls. Keep the floor dry and promptly clean up any water spills. If mobility is an issue, installing a raised toilet seat or shower seat can provide added safety.
Organise Cabinets and Storage:
Falls can also occur while reaching for objects stored in high cabinets or shelves. Organise your cabinets and storage spaces so that frequently used items are within easy reach. Avoid overloading upper shelves, which may cause them to become unstable. Use step stools with sturdy handrails when necessary, ensuring they are in good condition and have a non-slip base.
Maintain Outdoor Walkways:
Don’t overlook the importance of outdoor safety. Regularly inspect and maintain your paths, driveways, and entrance areas. Repair any cracks or uneven surfaces that could pose a tripping hazard. Keep paths clear of mud, leaves, moss and ice. Consider installing handrails on outdoor steps to provide extra support.
Preventing slips, trips, and falls at home is an essential aspect of maintaining a safe living environment for everyone. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidents and injuries. Keep your floors clear, maintain adequate lighting, secure stairs and railings, implement bathroom safety measures, organise storage spaces, and maintain outdoor walkways. Remember, safety should always be a top priority, and these simple precautions can make a significant difference in protecting yourself, your family, and your guests from unnecessary falls.