Falls are one of the leading causes of loss of independence for older adults. And many of these falls happen right in the home - often due to fall hazards that are almost always preventable.
After working with families across the country, we’ve identified some of the most commonly overlooked safety risks within the home. To help you or your loved one stay safe and comfortable for the years to come, here are the three most overlooked fall hazards that everyone should be addressing.
Loose Cords and Wires
One of the most common realities we find in homes is often an abundance of loose cords and wires. And it’s easy to understand why, many of us can look around our own home and see a variety of electrical appliances and devices we use everyday!
Even further, nearly every smart technology device or appliance requires a cord and depending on how the home is set up these wires may need to run across the room between the outlet and where the device is used.
Because of this we see many older adults who run wires over the carpet or have wires exposed that they try to navigate around when walking from one side of the room to the other. This poses a major fall hazard for any age group and can be exacerbated when lighting is dim or visibility around the home is limited.
When it comes to minimizing the amount of loose cords or wires around the home we first recommend spending some time organizing all of the cords and wires throughout the home. It’s not uncommon for people to realize that many cords left around aren’t even in use. Once you’ve sorted out each cord and wire throughout the home it’s then important to implement a cord management system.
This is ideally a system that you can implement to frequently check in and make sure no cords are left around the home. To help get you started we recommend Grefic’s Cable Organizer System. This system is a perfect solution to properly storage additional outlets, power strips or loose wires all while maintaining aesthetics throughout the home.
- Comes with a lid to hide messy cables
- Practical design makes it easy to storage in a cabinet or under a deck
- Available in a set of two to provide a variety of sizing options
Clutter Throughout The Home
Creating a proper system to store household items can often be a challenging aspect of safely aging at home. It’s not uncommon for older adults to have difficulty reaching higher up cabinets, lower cabinets or general storage areas that require a tall ladder or stool. This often causes older adults to either:
- unsafely access hard to reach areas of the home, creating a fall hazard
- leave household items on the ground, also creating a fall hazard
Clutter throughout the home is a major concern especially for anyone who uses a walker, cane or or mobility device to navigate the home. It’s important to recognize clutter in the home which can include holiday decorations, toys, games, trash or even clothes being left on the ground.
And if additional storage space is needed we recommend implementing some easy-to-use storage shelves and bins to minimize the amount of clutter around the home. Products such as Royexe’s Cube Storage Bins can be a perfect solution.
These bins are extremely sturdy and durable and work well in any home, regardless of style.
- Includes handles on both sides for easy carrying
- Can be used in a variety of places including the linen closet, wardrobe or laundry room
- Comes in a pack of 10
Lastly, it’s not uncommon to see many older adults experience a fall at home due to obstructing furniture. It’s important to make sure that furniture in every room of the home is positioned to give ample space and open room for safe mobility. This is especially important for anyone who uses an assistive device for mobility support.
Always be sure to space out furniture to avoid any tripping over furniture legs or running into sharp corners. If you’re unsure if the furniture in yours or a loved one’s home is properly positioned, we recommend you consult an occupational therapist who can better assist you in appropriately placing furniture and addressing other fall hazards in the home.
Fall Hazards Can Be Preventable
It can be encouraging for many people to realize that falls at home can be minimized or even prevented in some situations. And if you are concerned about any sort of safety risk within the home, for yourself or a loved one there are a variety of home modifications that can be implemented to help. If you’d like you can always get in touch with our Client Care Team to get your questions answered and learn more about common hazards found within the home.