STEADY U Ohio is a statewide collaborative falls prevention initiative, supported by Ohio government and state business partners to ensure that every county, every community and every Ohioan knows how they can prevent falls, one step at a time. For more information, visit them online at www.aging.ohio.gov/steadyu.
TIPS FOR SAFETY IN YOUR HOME
- Arrange furniture so you have a clear pathway between rooms.
- Place a lamp, telephone or flashlight near your bed.
- Install a night light along the route between your bedroom and the bathroom.
- Keep electric, appliance and telephone cords out of walkways, but do not put cords under a rug.
- Secure loose area rugs with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing
- Store food, dishes and cooking equipment within easy reach.
- Repair loose stairway carpeting or wooden boards immediately.
- Do not store items in stairwells or hang things on stair rails.
- Put a bright-colored stripe of durable tape on the front edge of each stair so that you can see them better.
- Place a slip-resistant rug adjacent to the bathtub for safe exit and entry.
- Use a rubber mat or place nonskid adhesive textured strips inside the tub.
These home modifications and assistive devices may cost a little more than the steps above, but could be good investments in keeping your home safe now and in the future:
- Buy a cordless or cellular phone so that you don't have to rush to answer it and so that you'll have it handy to call for help should you fall.
- Add ceiling light fixtures with easy-to-reach switches to rooms that currently are only lit by lamps.
- If you use furniture, like chairs, tables and dressers, to steady yourself as you walk around, invest in a cane or walker instead.
- Install grab bars on bathroom walls near the bathrub, shower and toilet.
- Stabilize yourself on the toilet by using either a raised seat or a special toilet seat with armrests.
- Use a sturdy, plastic seat in the bathrub if you cannot lower yourself to the floor of the tub or if you are unsteady.
- Install handrails on both sides of the stairway. Each shou8ld be 30 inches above the stairs and extend the full length of the stairs.
- Remove door sills higher than a half inch.
If you are a Medicaid or Medicare recipient, talk with your doctor about the potential benefits of an environmental falls assessment and if you may qualify for one to be conducted by a physical or occupational therapist.