The biggest risk factors for falling occur in the environment. Homes that are cluttered and/or poorly lit greatly enhance the risk of falling. Here are some steps that can mitigate a senior’s risk of falling:
1) Make sure all rooms, hallways and closets are well lighted, which may require the use of night-lights and high-wattage light bulbs.
2) Remove any extension cords that might cause tripping.
3) Repair any cracked or broken driveways and sidewalks around the home.
4) Make sure to eat and/or drink foods/liquids containing sufficient calcium and vitamin D.
5) Encourage regular weight-bearing exercises.
6) Avoid throw rugs.
7) Use a change in color to denote changes in surface types or levels inside the home.
8) Reduce clutter as much as possible.
For more tips to keep the home safe from falls, and for ideas of ways to keep healthy to prevent falls, visit the following Web site provided by the American Academy of Family Physicians: