Consumer Reports: Trip-and-fall hazards
Every year, one in four older adults fall, and about 20 percent of those who fall are seriously injured. But Consumer Reports has some simple fixes to help keep you from tripping up.
Experts at Consumer Reports say many falls are preventable by making a few easy changes around your house.
Start by arranging the furniture so that it’s not blocking any of the pathways that you typically use to walk around your home. For example, take a look at the path from your bed to the door of your bedroom. If there’s something in the way, move it.
Next, find a place for things like pet bowls and electrical cords along the walls and get piles of papers off the ground. You’re basically taking a good look around and moving anything at all that somebody might trip over.
And, get rid of throw rugs, which can skid, or keep them in place with carpet tacks or double sided carpet tape. Wall-to-wall carpeting is really your safest bet.
Finally, in the bathroom, put a rubber mat or non-slip strips in the tub and install grab bars.
Poor lighting can also increase your risk of falling. Consumer Reports suggests placing a lamp within easy reach of your bed — and putting night-lights in the bathroom, hallways and kitchen. Good lighting on stairs is particularly important — so install light switches at both the top and bottom of stairs. Finally, keep a flashlight handy in case of a power outage.
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