Consumer Reports: Preventing Falls at Home

 

Every year, one in four older adults fall –– and about 20 percent of those are seriously injured. Barry Levy has today's Consumer Report with some simple fixes, to help keep you or a loved one from from tripping up.

Most people assume that bad falls are from things like ladders or a soccer ball that's not supposed to be in a dark hallway but it can be something as small as a computer mouse...but there are some easy fixes to make your home a little more safe...let's take a look

As a former phys ed teacher, Howie Weiss knows the importance of staying in shape ––  and, at 72, balances that with the realities of aging –– and has already made changes in some habits to prevent a fall at home.

“Rather than picking up the laundry basket in two hands and walking down not holding on, i take the laundry basket and i walk, holding on, backwards and pull it down the stairs one step at a time,” Howie Weiss, Concerned About Falling.

His concerns about falling are real. The C-D-C says falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries among among older adults with over 10,000 deaths from falls reported each year.
But experts 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,” Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports.

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,” Dan DiClerico, Consumer Reports

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. As Howie Weiss knows firsthand, a few little changes can go a long way.

Poor lighting can also increase your risk of falling so keep a lamp within easy reach of your bed –– put night lights in the bathroom, hallways and kitchen. And, make sure light switches are installed at the top and bottom of stairs. So you don't take an tumble and have to say those famous words....I've fallen and I can't get up.

Consumer Reports also suggests keeping small flashlights in areas you frequent most in case of a power outage. 


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