Kelly Wolf: I'm here to discuss home safety. Most people are unaware of the most dangerous room in their home. Did you know that every year about 250,000 people end up in emergency rooms after falling in the bathroom? Younger people are more likely to fall in and round the bath tub, but seniors suffer more than half of their injuries near the toilet. Injuries getting on and off the toilet are quite high in people 65 and older.
So placing grab bars by the toilet is a sensible step to prevent these injuries. Grab bars where you get in and out of the shower are also a very good idea, and it's important to use non skid mats and always immediately wipe up any water on the floor. Even though the bathroom is the most dangerous room in the house, you can do some simple things throughout the home to reduce the risk of tripping and falling.
First, is there enough light? Use switches that light up. Put them by the door in each room and at the top and bottom of each staircase. Put night lights around and keep a flashlight in each room or put emergency lights in a few outlets that come on if the power goes out. Are passageways clear? Arrange wide passageways between living areas and keep floors and stairs clear closed and clutter.
Are floor and stairs safe in a good condition? Repair damaged floors and remove throw rugs and shag carpets. Use non-skid pads or double-sided tape under larger area rugs. On uncarpeted stares apply non-skid strips, do the same for outside steps and be sure to repair wobbly handrails as well as install additional handrails where needed.
Finally, you can reduce the risk of falls by being aware of health and visions issues. Carefully monitor medications and discuss any side effects with your doctor and be sure to have regular vision checkups. It's also important to exercise and stay physically active to maintain strength and balance.
If you feel you're at risk of falling in your home, a licensed home care agency can provide an evaluation and assistance. Prevention is the best approach. So stay safe from falls in your home and do be especially careful in the bathroom.