Home Modification Guide

Modifying Your Home

Preventing Falls

Preventing falls is one of the most important things you can do to keep you or your loved one safe at home.

  • One in three adults 65 and older falls each year.
  • Twenty to 30 percent suffer moderate to severe injuries that make it hard for them to get around or live independently.
  • Older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes.
  • Taking care of your overall health and well-being can help lower your risk of falling. So can safety equipment in your home, particularly the bathroom.

Common Sense Ways to Prevent Falls

  • Use a cane or walker to steady yourself when getting up. Stand up slowly after eating, lying down or resting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, which can make you feel faint.
  • Use a cane or walker to feel steadier when you walk. If your doctor prescribes a cane or walker, we can help find one that fits your needs.
  • Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes that fully support your feet. Wearing only socks or smooth-soled shoes on stairs or waxed floors can be unsafe.
  • Hold the handrails when you use the stairs. Use hand grips and install grab bars throughout the house.
  • Don’t stand on a chair to reach items on tall shelves. We can help you choose the right "reaching stick," commonly known as a “reacher,” that can make many daily tasks safer and easier. Consider a step stool with a handle.
  • Carefully consider the safety of your bathroom. Grab bars, raised toilet seats, safety bars for your tub and transfer benches can make your bathroom a significantly safer place.
  • Consider purchasing a personal medical alarm to wear around your neck. Talk to our staff about these devices, which can bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones.
  • Taking care of your overall health and well-being can help lower your risks.
  • Ask your doctor about a bone density test, which will tell how strong your bones are. Medications are available that can make your bones stronger and harder to break.
  • Regular exercise can help keep you strong, and your joints, tendons and ligaments flexible. Talk with your doctor before beginning any program.
  • Have your vision and hearing tested often. Even small changes in sight and hearing can make you less stable. If you get new glasses, take time to get used to them. Make sure your hearing aid fits well.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount can affect your balance and reflexes.