Home and Environment Modification

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Home and Environment Modification

How you decorate your home reflects your personality and sense of style.  In addition to making you feel comfortable, the things in your home can increase your safety or make it more likely that you could fall.  

At the Step Alive Fall Prevention Center of Excellence we will guide you thru the process of evaluating your home and what areas to look at to prevent falls.  As your abilities change over the year, your home should provide you and your loved ones with the support you need to do your daily activities and the things that you enjoy.

If needed we will schedule an appointment to have your home assessed to evaluate key areas of change or improvement to make your home a safer place to walk and live.

Making changes to your home-also known as home modifications-can make activities easier, improve your health and wellness, and reduce your chances of falling.

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These changes can include removing hazards, adding supports such as handrails, or changing how or where you do activities.  Below are some suggestions to make your home safer.

  1. Keep pathways clear. Keep stairs and walkways clear by removing objects that you could trip over.  Add storage for things that are usually on the floor, such as shoes or papers.
  2. Be aware of uneven surfaces. Look out for changes in the level of flooring, such as in doorways or in between carpeting and tile.  Remove throw rugs or use a rug gripper underneath to secure them to the floor. If you can move a rug easily with your foot, you could slip on it.
  3. Keep frequently used items close by. Reaching up high or bending down low can cause you to lose balance.  For example-in the kitchen, make sure that cooking supplies and other items that you use often are easy to reach.
  4. Light your way. Install bright lights, have switches at both ends of stairways, and use night lights to light the path from your bedroom to bathroom.  Light switches that glow are easier to see in the dark.
  5. Add supports in the bathroom. Bathrooms can be dangerous, especially when things are wet.  Put grab bars near the toilet and in the shower.  Non-skid strips in the bathtub can keep you from slipping.
  6. Stay safe on the stairs. Consider installing handrails on both sides of the stairs.  If you already have handrails, be sure you use them.  Check that they are properly installed and not loose.