In 2016, 9.2 million people in the United States sustained falls at home or work that sent them to the emergency room for treatment of injuries, according to the National Safety Council. While some people recover fully from slip-and-fall injuries, others become permanently disabled or even lose their lives.
People who are very old or very young may see the worst effects due to a slip and fall. However, you may be at risk for serious injury regardless of your age. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to reduce fall risk around your home for yourself, your family and your guests.
- Maintain good lighting
Because it is difficult to avoid obstacles that you cannot see, poor visibility can be a fall risk. You can mitigate this by providing proper illumination of stairs and other potential hazards, outdoors as well as indoors.
- Create open pathways
In every room, there should be a clear area in which you and your family can walk. You should clear away any clutter and arrange your furniture for ease of ambulation around it.
- Beware of cords
It is easy to trip over an electrical cord. Keep these close to the wall and out of the areas where people frequently walk.
- Only stand on sturdy objects
It is best to keep your feet on the ground as much as possible. However, it may occasionally become necessary to elevate yourself to perform a chore like changing a lightbulb.
When you do this, be sure to stand only on solid, sturdy objects like stepstools. Avoid standing on any object with wheels or on pieces of furniture not intended for the purpose, such as tables and chairs.
- Avoid risky chores
These particularly include tasks that require you to climb up on the roof or on ladders, such as mending shingles, cleaning gutters or pruning trees. It is not worth your life to save a few bucks by doing it yourself, so consider hiring professionals to do these jobs instead.
Taking care to reduce fall risk can help you to feel safer in your own home.