Slips, trips, and falls occur often. Whether slipping on a wet floor at home, tripping on a neighbor’s damaged walkway, or falling off a faulty chair at work, accidents happen.
One source notes that these incidents account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits. Fractures are the most severe injuries in people who fall — occurring in 5% of victims.
Falls can happen anywhere. Unfortunately, one place many people experience such accidents is at home. Here are five ways to reduce falls at home and avoid hospital visits.
Decluttering is one tip to take to heart. If you’re like most people, you have more things in and around your home than you probably should. Over the years, people accumulate things. Most people aren’t aware of it until their home is already overly furnished.
But living in a cluttered home isn’t just bad for aesthetics. It can also present severe falling risks. You’ll want to bring order out of chaos and regain control over the state of your home.
Look at what you have, how much space you have to put everything, and what you don’t need. You’ll be better off and safer if you tame clutter and restore order.
Consider your flooring. If you have damaged flooring, get that taken care of. Tripping over loose tiles, lifted floorboards, broken transition pieces, or unsecured carpeting can lead to nasty falls. Fix these and other problems, and consider replacing or upgrading the unsatisfactory flooring.
You’ll also want to be careful when mopping your flooring. After doing it, give it ample time to dry. It’s worth waiting a little longer to ensure your floor isn’t a safety hazard.
How is the lighting in your home? You might not have considered it, but the lighting can help or hinder your goal of avoiding falls at home. If there are poorly lit areas, you’ll want to address that. You need to see where you’re going to avoid any obstacles in your path.
Solving the issue can be as easy as buying lamps or light fixtures. You might be okay upgrading your light bulbs to a brighter wattage.
Another tip is to store things appropriately so you don’t have to stretch or climb to retrieve them. If you place things in inconvenient places, you might increase the risk of falling. Before putting anything away, consider whether or not you’ll be able to access it freely.
And if you do have to use a ladder, be cautious. Consider getting help if you’re not confident about climbing and descending a ladder safely.
When making your home safer, don’t forget the exterior. You’ll want to maintain the yard, exercise caution on uneven or challenging terrain, add handrails as needed, and keep the driveway, walkway, and garage in good shape. That’ll make your property safer.
While many falls occur at home, that doesn’t mean they can’t happen elsewhere. And they often do. For instance, they happen at workplaces. If it happens to you, get checked out by your doctor and contact a lawyer. You might qualify for compensation to help you recover from injuries.
You can reduce the odds of falls on your property by following these tips. While some such accidents don’t lead to serious injury, that doesn’t mean avoiding falls is any less vital. That’s especially the case as you get older. You must be proactive about safety at home.
Following these suggestions will make your home safer not only for yourself and your family, but also for friends and other visitors. That’ll mean fewer visits to the emergency room.