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Preventing Falls at Home


Six out of every 10 falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety. Many falls could be prevented by making simple changes in your living areas, as well as personal and lifestyle changes.

Here are a few tips to help you find and fix hazards to make your home safer. Those tips are courtesy of the Rehabilitation Advisory Council of the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine.

Floors/Stairs

  • Remove throw rugs or use double sided tape or non-slip back so that they won't slip
  • Pick up objects on the floor (i.e. books, shoes, boxes, blankets)
  • Coil or tape cords and wires next to walls
  • If you have broken, loose or uneven steps, have them repaired
  • If possible, install a light in stairwells and ensure there is a light switch at both the bottom and top of the stairs
  • Fix loose handrails
  • Use reflective tape at the top and bottom of the stairs so you can see them better

Kitchen

  • Keep things you use often on the lower shelf
  • If you are able to use a step stool, make sure it is steady with a bar to hold onto

Bathroom/Bedroom

  • Place a lamp close to your bed where it is easy to reach
  • Place a night-light along your pathway to the bathroom
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat on the floor of your tub shower
  • Install a grab bar inside the tub and next to the toilet

Additional tips

  • Walk slowly and carefully
  • Do not lean or support yourself on rolling or unsteady objects
  • Keep a telephone within reach
  • Keep emergency numbers in a large print near each phone
  • Have family members or others check on you
  • If using an oxygen tank, avoid using it around an open flame
  • Have your vision checked at least once per year by an eye doctor
  • Get up slowly after you sit or lie down
  • Wear sturdy shoes with thin, non-slip soles...avoid slippers
  • Improve lighting in your home by using brighter light bulbs (at least 60 watts); and using lamp shades or frosted bulbs to reduce glare
  • Think about wearing an alarm device that will bring help in case you fall and can't get up

Join the Rehabilitation Advisory Council  

The Rehabilitation Advisory Council meets monthly to discuss how to improve care and resources for the Center for Rehabilitation Medicine patients. It’s comprised of former patients, their family members or care partners, and members of Northridge Hospital Rehabilitation staff.

To learn more about our council, you can contact call 818.885.8500, ext. 3669, or by email at NHMCRehabAdvisoryCouncil@dignityhealth.org.