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Healthy Aging: Making Sure Your Home is Safe

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Did you know that most falls happen in the home? Make sure your home is safe with these tips:

In stairways, hallways, and pathways:

- Make sure there is good lighting. Place light switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs.

- Keep areas where you walk clear.

- Check that all carpets are tacked firmly to the floor so they won't slip. Slipping can cause you to trip. Put no-slip strips on tile and wooden floors. You can buy these strips at hardware stores.

- Have handrails on both sides of all stairs — from top to bottom — and be sure they're tightly attached.

In bathrooms and powder rooms:

- Install grab bars near toilets and on both the inside and outside of your tub and shower.

- Place nonskid mats, strips, or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet.

- Keep nightlights on.

In your bedroom:

- Put nightlights and light switches close to your bed.

- Keep your telephone near your bed.

In other living areas:

- Keep electric cords and telephone wires near walls and away from walking paths.

- Tack all carpets and area rugs firmly to the floor.

- Arrange your furniture and other objects so that they are not in the way. This will help keep you from tripping over low tables when you walk through the house.

- Make sure your sofas and chairs are a good height for you. This helps you get in and out of them easily.

More resources on healthy aging and falls

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.