Since I believe that With Age Comes Respect, in order to substantially decrease the risk of a fall that a senior can take and to prevent injuries related to falls, there are some simple modifications to a home suggested on the website http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00135. They are as follows:
- Place a lamp, telephone, or flashlight near your bed.
- Sleep on a bed that is easy to get into and out of.
- Replace satiny sheets and comforters with products made of nonslippery material such as wool or cotton.
- Arrange clothes in your closet so that they are easy to reach.
- Install a nightlight 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, footrests, and plants out of the path of traffic.
- Install easy-access light switches at room entrances so you will not have to walk into a dark room in order to turn on the light. Glow-in-the-dark switches also 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 electric, appliance and telephone cords out of walkways, but do not put cords under a rug.
- Do not run extension cords across pathways; rearrange furniture.
- Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.
- Do not sit in a chair or on a sofa that is so low that it is difficult to stand up.
- Repair loose wooden floorboards right away.
- Remove door sills higher than a half inch.
- Remove throw rugs.
- Clean up immediately any liquids, grease, or food spilled on the floor.
- Store food, dishes, and cooking equipment within easy reach.
- Do not stand on chairs or boxes to reach upper cabinets.
- Use nonskid floor wax.
- 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 which turn on automatically when someone walks by.
- Provide enough light to clearly 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 the 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 nightlight in the bathroom.
- Use a rubber mat or place nonskid adhesive textured strips inside the tub.
- Replace glass shower enclosures with non-shattering material.
- Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using either 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.