More than half of falls among older adults occur in the home. Falls are often due to home hazards that are frequently overlooked, but easy to fix. Below are some of the ways to find and fix trip-and-fall hazards at home.
- Does the tub or shower floor have a slippery surface?
- If YES: Place a non-slip mat or self-stick strips in the bathtub and on the shower floor.
- Do you need support to get in and out of the tub or up from the toilet?
- If YES: Have grab bars properly installed next to the tub and toilet to assist.
- Is the light near the bed hard to reach?
- If YES: Place lamps close to the bed, where they are easy to reach.
- Is the path from the bed to the bathroom dark?
- If YES: Put in a night light so you can see where you are walking at night.
- Are there loose throw rugs on the floor?
- If YES: Get rid of throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep them in place.
- Are there papers, books, towels, shoes, magazines, boxes, blankets, or other objects on the floor?
- If YES: Clear the pathway and always remember to keep objects off the floor.
- Do you have to walk over or around wires and cords, such as lamp, telephone, or extension cords?
- If YES: Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so you can’t trip over them. If needed, have an electrician add extra outlets.
- Are there objects on stairs, loose rails, loose carpet, and/or poor lighting on the stairs?
- If YES: Remove objects and secure carpet on the stairs to avoid tripping. Secure hand rails and replace broken light bulbs.
For a more complete list of home safety tips to prevent falls, use this checklist. [Español] [中文]
The Brief Home Safety Checklist describes common trip-and-falls hazards in the home. The checklist is designed for individuals who work with older adults in their homes.
If you are considering hiring someone to do home repairs, get recommendations from a friend and review these tips from New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
For information about low-cost or no-cost home repair programs, call 311 and ask for “home repair for seniors.”