2277 Highway 36 West, Suite 200 Roseville, MN 55113-3830
Toll Free: 1-800-669-6442
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Falls are the leading cause of brain injury in the United States age 60 and up. Car crashes are a close second. One in three adults over the age of 65 falls each year. Of these, 60 percent of falls occur at home.
Identify potential dangers. Use the following checklist to take an objective look at your home and your lifestyle.
Make improvements where needed. Don't underestimate how taking simple steps can help you avoid serious injury.
- Stairways, Hallways, Entrances
- Are you stairs/stair coverings are in good order?
- Are your handrails sturdy and run the full length of the stairways?
- Are your stairways, hallways and entrances are well lit indoors and out?
- Are your stairways, hallways and entrances are kept free of clutter?
- Are sidewalks and walkways level and free of cracks or holes?
- Living areas
- Can you turn on a light in each room without having to walk through the dark?
- Are nightlights used, especially between the bed and bathroom?
- Are cords and wires not stretched across pathways or under rugs?
- Do carpet, tile and floorboards lie flat and are in good repair?
- Do you have loose rugs or unsecured mats in or around your home?
- Do area rugs have non-slip backing or are secured with double-sided tape?
- Is your furniture is arranged to prevent tripping and pathways are kept clear?
- Are work and storage areas are organized so they are within easy reach?
- Is there always a phone within easy reach? Are emergency numbers posted?
- Do you always use a sturdy stepstool or ladder to reach high places instead of a chair?
- Do tubs and showers have a non-skid mat, decals, abrasive strips or non-slip surface?
- Are there sturdy grab bars or handrails installed by the toilet and in tubs and showers?
- Is a tub seat, hand-held shower and/or raised toilet seat with arms used if needed?
- Do bathroom rugs have non-skid backing?
- Do bathroom floors have a non-slip surface?
- Is a working flashlight and telephone kept by the bed?
- Is there a light switch or lamp within reach of the bed?
- Is the bed is at the proper height to allow easy access?
In Your Daily Life
- Getting Around
- Do you wear supportive, low-heeled, non-slip shoes, even at home?
- In wet weather do you wear non-slip boots or shoes and avoid slippery surfaces?
- Do you pay attention to floors in public buildings, especially if they are waxed or wet?
- Are you always aware of traffic and traffic signals when crossing the street?
- When getting out of a vehicle, do you take your time, especially if the ground is uneven?
- If recommended by your health care provider, do you use a cane, walking stick or walker?
- Do you always wear a seatbelt and insist all passengers do?
- Have you completed a safe driving class to keep your skills sharp?
- Do you avoid driving at night and take frequent rest stops on long trips?
- Do you keep a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you?
- Do you use your turn signals to let drivers and pedestrians know what you intend to do?
- Health/In General
- Do you have your vision checked on a regular basis?
- Do you wear sunglasses on sunny days?
- Have your reviewed medications you may be taking with your doctor or pharmacists and discussed possible side effects or interactions?
- Is your medication clearly labeled and do you take them only as prescribed?
- Do you have a system to help you remember to take the correct dosage each day?
- Do you eat nutritious, balanced meals with adequate calcium and vitamin D?
- Do you exercise regularly to maintain strength, balance and agility?
- Do you engage in activities that stimulate your mind and keep your brain active?
- Do you have an answering machine or portable phone so you don't have to rush in answering the phone?
- Have you arranged for daily contact with a family member or friend?
- Are you careful in not getting up too quickly, especially after lying down, resting or eating?