Stop slips and falls around the home. Little changes can make the difference between short term misery and long term good health. Elderly are the most subject to slip and fall dangers; but younger adults with busy minds and distractions may also face the discomfort of a flying leap across a living room floor.
The safety measures to prevent slips and falls are so simple and inexpensive that they are often overlooked. The first group of suggestions are found around the home. All stairs whether one step up or many need a safety grab handle (that may be decorative and sturdy) and/or rail. Stairs are safest without carpet and with an edge that lights in the dark.
Throw rugs are a tripping disaster waiting to happen. That includes area rugs on hardwood or tile floors. The edges are the danger. Hardwood floors are pretty; like a piece of furniture, leave them uncovered to show their beauty and be safe. If kitchens and baths must have rugs, use the heavy rubber type with slanted edges that do not turn up. Many decorative varieties are available. Be sure the finish on all bare floors is non-slip.
Keep furniture out of major pathways from one room to the next in the home; keep chairs neatly tucked under tables and foot stools close to the chair they match. Have a young person with a blindfold wander through the house to notice furniture and decorator items that might be hazards to a person whose concentration is distracted.
Use house shoes that have good foot support and are correct for the floor surfaces. Never wander through the house barefoot: bare feet are asking for a toe injury. When carrying items through the house, get in the habit of carrying them in a basket with a handle in one hand so the other hand is free for step rails or other activity. Sit while talking on the telephone.
When entering the house with packages, make several trips and leave the packages far off the walking path into and through the house. Never leave packages in an area where a person distracted might trip over them.
Last, but far from the least, are flights of stairs. First, never climb multiple stairs in flip flops or sandals with an edge that might catch on the stair. Always have a free hand to hold the rail with a firm grip. If sanitation is an issue, keep wipes at the head and foot of the stairs or in a pocket. Stairs are safest without carpeting, with a non-slip surface and with a colored edge that is lit in the dark. Never talk on a phone while climbing stairs.
These few simple recommendations may make a major difference in staying upright and not suffering from sprains, breaks and potential hospitalizations that are far worse that the simple preventive measures.