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Checklist to Avoid Senior Falls*

 

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Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but easy to fix. This checklist will help you find and fix those hazards in your home.
The checklist asks about hazards found in each room of your home. For each hazard, the checklist tells you how to fix the problem. At the end of the checklist, you will find other tips for preventing falls.

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Senior Home Safety Checklist

Area

Observation

Remedy

Floors When you walk through a room, do you have to walk around furniture? Move the furniture so the path is clear.
Floors Throw rugs on the floor? Remove the rugs or use double-sided tape or a non-slip backing so the rugs won't slip
Floors Are papers, magazines, books, shoes, boxes, blankets, towels, or other objects on the floor? Always keep objects off the floor
Floors Do you have to walk over or around cords or wires (like cords from lamps, extension cords, or telephone cords)? Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can't trip over them. Have an electrician put in another outlet.

Stairs and Steps Are papers, shoes, books, or other objects on the stairs? Keep objects off the stairs.
Stairs and Steps Are some steps broken or uneven? Fix loose or uneven steps
Stairs and Steps Are you missing a light over the stairway? Have an electrician put in an overhead light at the top and bottom of the stairs.
Stairs and Steps Do you have only one light switch for your stairs Have an electrician put in a light switch at the top and bottom of the stairs.
Stairs and Steps Is there a sturdy handrail on only one side of the stairs? Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and are as long as the stairs
Stairs and Steps Is the carpet on the steps loose or torn? Make sure the carpet is firmly attached to every step or remove the carpet and attach non-slip rubber treads on the stairs.
Kitchens Are the things you use often on high shelves Keep things you use often on the lower shelves (about waist high).
Kitchens Is your step stool unsteady? Use a steady step stool with a bar to hold on to
Bedrooms Is the light near the bed hard to reach? Place a lamp close to the bed
Bedrooms Is the path from your bed to the bathroom dark? Use a night-light
Bathrooms Is the tub or shower floor slippery? Put a non-slip rubber mat or self- stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower
Bathrooms Do you have some support when you get in and out of the tub or up from the toilet? Install grab bar inside the tub and next to the toilet.

Senior Home Safety Items


Senior Home Safety Items

Other Things You Can Do To Prevent Fall

  • Exercise regularly. Exercise makes you stronger and improves your balance and coordination.
  • Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy.
  • Have your vision checked at least once a year by an eye doctor. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling.
  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with thin, non-slip soles. Avoid slippers and running shoes with thick soles.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. Use brighter light bulbs (at least 60 watts). Use lamp shades or frosted bulbs to reduce glare.
  • Use reflecting tape at the top and bottom of the stairs so you can see them better.
  • Paint doorsills a different color to prevent tripping.
  • Agencies on Aging

    Other Safety Tips

    • Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone.
    • Put a phone near the floor in case you fall and can't get up.
    • Consider wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can't get up.
    • *Created by and for more information contact:

      The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K-63 Atlanta, GA