Start with Safety This Spring

Most falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety. In fact, more than 1.9 million people over age 65 are treated every year in ERs for injuries associated with stairs, bathtubs, furniture, carpeting and other products that seniors live with and use every day.

During your spring cleaning be sure to check for common injury-causing hazards. Many injuries could be prevented by making simple changes throughout your home’s living areas.

Stairs and Steps
• Make sure light switches are at both the top and bottom of the stairs
• Provide enough light to see each step and the top and bottom landings
• Consider installing motion detector lights to automatically light your stairway
• Keep flashlights nearby in case of a power outage
• Install handrails on both sides of the stairway and be sure to use them

• Install grab bars on the bathroom walls near the toilet and along the bathtub or shower
• Replace glass shower enclosures with non-shattering material
• Place a slip-resistant rug next to the bathtub for safe exit and entry
• Mount a liquid soap dispenser on the bathtub/shower wall
• Place nonskid adhesive textured strips on the bathtub/shower floor

• Clear clutter from the floor
• Place a lamp and flashlight near your bed
• Sleep on a bed that is easy to get into and out of
• Install nightlights along the route between the bedroom and the bathroom
• Keep a telephone near your bed

Living Areas
• Arrange furniture to create clear pathways between rooms
• Remove low coffee tables, magazine racks, footrests and plants from pathways in rooms
• Install light switches at entrances to rooms to avoid walking into a dark room
• Secure loose area rugs with double-sided tape or slip-resistant backing
• Keep electric, appliance and telephone cords out of your pathways, but do not put cords under a rug

• Remove throw rugs
• Immediately clean up any liquid, grease or food spilled on the floor
• Store food, dishes and cooking equipment at an easy-to-reach, waist-high level
• Do not stand on chairs or boxes to reach upper cabinets


Learn more about how to make your home safer at