any older adults choose to continue living at home as they age, but their homes may not be as functional for them. In fact, over half of all falls take place in a person's own home.
However, by making a few simple changes, you can make your home a safe and comfortable place to age in place, independently, and reduce the risk of falling.
To prevent falls, you can modify your home in these ways:
1. Secure support for bathing.
Even if you’re still able to walk around your home, you may find that the tub or shower is no longer the best place for bathing. If you have difficulty standing up and sitting down, try a seat in the shower. You can also install a grab bar and adjustable-height handheld shower head to help with this process.
2. Add lighting.
When you replace a bulb in your home, replace it with one that provides the right amount of brightness for the room and is not too hot or harsh on your eyes. It's best to replace burnt-out bulbs with bright, non-glare lightbulbs.
Make sure you have enough light in the area where you spend most of your time. And if you live alone, consider getting a night-light that glows with a soft light. It'll help you navigate when it's dark and keep you from tripping over things in the middle of the night.
3. Take a seat.
When you're getting dressed, sitting down instead of standing up can help reduce the risk of falls. If you sit while getting dressed, your body is more stable and there's less chance of falling over. Place a sturdy chair in your bedroom so you can use it whenever needed.
4. Keep your home clutter free.
Next, make sure your home is clutter-free—that means no items on the stairs or floors. And be sure to fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter and throw rugs.
5. Keep items accessible.
Keep frequently used items between your waist and shoulder height. If you're like most people, you probably have several things that you use daily—for example, glasses, reading glasses or contact lens case, phone charger and cord (if applicable), keys, wallet, and other items. Try to keep these within arm's reach on your desk or nightstand so that they're always accessible when needed.
You can easily make some changes in your home to make it easier to get around without risking falling.
These tips will help you stay safe and reduce your risk of falls as you age.