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check your home for fall hazards

by Rein Tideiksaar, PhD

Falls can be prevented but the time to do it is before they happen. Check your home for fall hazards with this simple chart. Look throughout your home at the hazards on the left and put the best solutions on the right into practice. Fall prevention is everyone's responsibility.

Hazards Solutions

Lighting: Inadequate Lighting


Keep lights on in rooms you are using or walking through. Consider a nightlight for dark passageways.

During the day, open curtains and shades to let more sunlight in.

Install extra lighting along pathway from bedroom to bathroom, by steps and stairways.

Floor Surfaces: Sliding Throw Rugs


Upended /Curled Carpet Edges

Check all rugs and mats to make sure they are slip-resistant. Consider either buying new rugs with non-slip backing or applying nonskid matting to backs of existing rugs to make them secure.

Use tacks or carpet tape to keep carpet edges from curling up.

Pathways: Clutter


All pathways should be clear of objects and furnishings.

Steps/Stair: Inadequate Light & Clutter


Make sure stairs are well lit and free of clutter.

Use stairway handrails when going up or down steps.

Fall prevention is smart for elders living alone or with families. The time to prevent falls is before they happen.

Posted October 2005
Updated October 2009


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