How to Make Your House Fall Proof
It’s a frightening fact: Each year, one-fourth of all persons age 65 to 74 and one-third or more of those age 75 and older report having fallen. About two-thirds of older people who fall suffer another fall within the next 6 months, and this can lead to psychological fears of being left alone. This pain related fear can only make things worse.
Approximately 15% of falls result in physical injury serious enough to warrant medical attention 
Once more, 5 to 10% of these lead to serious injuries (eg, head and soft tissue trauma and musculoskeletal sprains) and the remaining 3 to 5% resulting in bone fractures.
That’s a lot of people with a balance problem, isn’t it?
And yet most people completely ignore these statistics. They just don’t want to think about the possibility of a catastrophic fall happening to them or a loved one. But just ask the large number of people who are affected by this mobility problem, and they’ll tell you that it can and does happen. And they’ll also tell you the best thing you can do is be prepared.
That’s what this post is about.
In just moments you’ll find out how to protect yourself or a loved one from becoming a statistic. Read on…
Fall Proofing Home to Stop Fear of Falling
Falls often lead to a fear of falling. This is bad news in terms of one’s recovery because such fear can decrease mobility and independence particularly if an older person loses confidence in the ability to perform activities. Up to 50% of those who have fallen admit to avoiding activities because of fear of further falls or injury.
How Pain Related Fear Worsens Condition
In terms of back pain, this means pain related fear makes one not go outdoors unless accompanied by another person and perhaps limit the number of baths he or she takes, because the bathtub is “too dangerous.”
The Benefits of Eliminating Pain Related Fear
If one can lessen or eliminate his or her pain related fear to falling, then he or she will be inclined to engage in physical activities that will improve their condition. Making your house fall proof will go a long way in establishing confidence that will lessen pain related fear.
Tips to Stop Falling and Deal With Pain Related Fear
Here Are Some of the Things you can do to fall proof your house. They may reduce the hazards that can cause a loved one to fall at night on their trips to the bathroom, or just making their way around the house when you are not there.
Eliminate Lighting Problems. Imagine your poor mom, dad, or other elderly relative rushing out of bed and having to deal with a bedroom and narrow hallway that are poorly illuminated. This greatly increases a chance of a fall. Make sure there is easy access to switches or lamps in the rooms or hallway. I am constantly checking the light bulbs in the hallway to ensure that mom, who suffers from back, pain has no problems reaching the bathroom.
Decrease Light Glare. The opposite problem of having not enough light is obviously having too much light. Lighting glare can make elderly people dizzy. Eliminate glare from light bulbs by using light shades or bulbs. In addition to those steps, you can do the following:
1. Replace Sliding Throw Rugs. That’s exactly what I did when Mom almost took a spill like she was on an ice rink. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of the rug because it has some sentimental value—hey, it happens—you can tape a nonskid pad underneath.
2. Get Rid of The Slippery Steps to Steps. Let’s face it. For elderly people with a balance problem, steps can be dangerous. Apply nonskid threads. They can also save you from landing on your butt.
3. Make Shower floor Safer. Replace slippery mat on tub with a nonskid rubber floor for tub.
4.Use a Reacher Device. You don’t want mom or dad, with their bad back, standing on an unstable chair or stool in order to get something beyond their reach.
5.Tape Down All Carpet Curling. The last thing you want is for mom or dad to get their foot caught in one of those annoying carpet curls that just won’t stay down. Hey, it might save you from falling—just saying.
6.Apply Color Tape For Better Visibility. Hey, you can’t take a stop sign to mom and dad when you want them to avoid a carpet in repair. That would be so uncool not to mention disrespectful. However, you can use color contrasting tape to let them be aware of any potential problem. Do it.
7.Replace The Armless chair Armrest.Provide chairs that give more support.
8.Low Toilet Seat. Replace the too low toilet seat with an elevated seat.
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It’s time for your loved ones to stop having a fear of falling. For more information
I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.
As you can imagine, falls have a devastating psychological impact on the whole family. The sight of finding a loved one lying on the bathroom floor is very stressing. To make things worse, often the family member who has fallen develops a fear of falling and begins to restrict his or her activities. The unhelpful avoidance of movement and activities may only prolong the recovery. The aim of this post was to give tips on eliminating the fear of falling, and make it possible for a loved one who has suffered a fall to have the confidence to assume daily activities that can aid healing. There is also preliminary evidence that pain- related fear predicts new back pain episodes in pain-free people. So there is reason for all of us to understand the impact that pain related fear has on our ability to recover from injury.
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3 Nevitt MC, Cummings SR, Kidd S, Black D. Risk factors for recurrent falls: A prospective study. JAMA 1989; 261:2663-8.
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Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Vol. 30, No. 1, February 2007 (⃝C 2006) DOI: 10.1007/s10865-006-9085-0