If you, or a loved one, are experiencing balance or stability issues, it is a good idea to examine your home to identify potential fall risks. Your home should be where you are most comfortable, and if you have decided to stay in your home using the CDPAP program to help pay a loved one or family member to assist you with your care, you need to make sure that your home is safe. Eliminating risks of falling in your home will keep you safe and mobile and ensure that your home is the haven it should be.

Stairs

As we age, stairs become more tiring, and can even become dangerous. If you feel unsteady on stairs, explore the idea of relocating to a single floor in your home. Maybe you could move a bedroom to the first floor, or bring the washer and dryer up from a basement with steep stairs. Stairs increase the risk of falling, so minimizing how often you need to be taking them will help avoid those falls.

Rearranging Furniture

Maybe your furniture is arranged in such a way that it is actually interfering with moving around your home safely. If you have too much furniture crowded into a small space, or sharp table edges jutting into a walkway, it may be time to rearrange. Make sure there are wide walkways without furniture that might cause tripping or that you frequently bump into.

Tripping on Transitions

If you have transitional areas between rooms, or where carpet meets hard flooring, there may be a tripping hazard. Make sure all transitions between carpet and hard flooring are securely fastened and there is no chance of catching an edge of the carpet on your foot. If there are high thresholds, consider installing something smaller that is less likely to cause a trip and a fall.

Shoes

Wearing shoes while in your home is a good idea, as socks can be slippery on hard flooring and could lead to a fall. Shoes give stability and, if they have a good sole, they provide traction to avoid falls.

Outdoor Areas

Make sure that you are able to clear your outdoor walkways of snow and ice, or that you can hire someone to do that task for you. The winter months can bring dangerous conditions to the areas outside of your home; make sure you are able to safely navigate your walkways.

Clearing Clutter

It might finally be time to get rid of items that you are not using anymore, that are just taking up floor space. Small items on the floor can cause a tripping and fall risk, and removing them will give you clear paths to navigate your home.

Installing Grab Bars

Falls in the bathroom and shower areas are especially dangerous due to how slippery they can be. Installing grab bars in your shower and bathroom areas can help give you the extra support you need, and assist you if you do slip. Grab bars can be used outside of the bathroom as well; install them anywhere you need a little extra help and security.

Pets

Pets are wonderful companions to people of any age, and they can be a great friend to the aging. However, a young and excitable puppy or kitten may not be the best choice for a senior. Small animals running around a home can present an opportunity to become off balance and could lead to a fall. A great choice for a pet would be a calm, relaxed pet that won’t become a hazard underfoot.

Exercise

As we age, our strength and balance can start to decline, leading to an increase in risk of falling. Staying in shape can keep your muscles strong and help you stay balanced. Any exercise that helps you build muscle and balance can protect you from falling due to weakness or instability.

Hearing and Vision

Our hearing and vision both play big roles in our ability to navigate and balance. Keeping up with regular eye and ear appointments as you age will ensure that you are addressing any issues that may arise. Being able to hear and see your environment keeps you from falling.

Staying in your own home, and being able to pay your friends or family for care through the CDPAP program is a wonderful option for seniors in Brooklyn. If you are staying in your home, or assisting a friend or loved one, consider assessing the home for potential fall risks. A fall can mean a long recovery time for a senior, and can lead to other complications. Falls can make a once active senior nervous to venture outside of the home, or engage in their usual activities, for fear of falling again. Eliminate fall risks before they lead to an injury, and keep your home safe so you can enjoy it for years to come.