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Home safety: Help people avoid falls

Falls are the most common cause of accidental death and injury in the home. The risk increases as people get older and develop mobility, balance and sight problems.  

Taking a few precautions can make your home safer — for everyone.

  • Install a second railing. People are safer going up and down stairs if there is a railing on each side of the staircase.
  • Mark trouble spots with bright tape. The first and last steps on staircases are high-accident zones. So are areas with furniture that sticks out. Applying strips of bright tape makes these trouble spots easier to see.
  • Light the way. Install lights in halls and stairways. Plug-in nightlights can be used anywhere there’s an outlet.
  • Put grab bars in the bathtub. Many falls happen in the bathroom. Installing grab bars in the shower or alongside the tub gives people something to hold for balance. And putting non-skid strips or mats on the shower and tub floor reduces the risk of slipping.
  • Get bath safety items. Try a tub seat or sliding board for extra support. A showerhead extension can also be useful. These items let a person bathe without having to move around the shower or tub.
  • Invest in a personal alarm. A personal alarm can be triggered if a person falls or is in trouble. With the push of a button, the alarm sends a signal. In turn, this alerts someone to call and see if the person needs help. If no one answers the phone, selected family members, friends or emergency services are notified.

Download the tips for home safety here

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Source: Patient. Available at www.patient.co.uk/health. Accessed 1 March 2017.

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