5 trip hazards for older adults

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Aging comes with challenges. Aside from possible health complications, older people are more likely to trip and fall which could easily result in bodily injuries. Injuries from falls are not only difficult to heal, but they could also cause psychological problems such as anxiety, depression, and even the fear of moving around. Although some trips,slips and falls are truly accidents, some are caused by health conditions like poor eyesight and decreased leg strength, and other obstacles that can be managed. Here are YouMeCare’s top 5 trip hazards to  consider to minimize the chance of falling in and around your home. 

1. Stairs

Stairs are a likely  trip hazard. If you don’t have stairs in your home, keep reading. Single steps and curbs can also be nasty contributors to trips and falls. Successful stair and curb navigation  requires leg strength and proper range of motion in hips, knees, and ankles. It also requires good  balance and proper eyesight. Some of these areas may weaken with age which is why it is important to stay active.   If you notice that ascending or descending stairs is becoming a challenge for you, don't wait! Consider going to a physical therapist. A physical therapist can conduct a comprehensive assessment and prioritize recommendations for you that can help make managing the stairs much easier. A physical therapist can also teach you strategies for safe ways to use a cane or a walker to manage curbs and stairs.  Don’t wait until you can no longer manage stairs or until you are forced to relocate to a single-story environment.  .  

2. Cords

Cords are also  a serious trip hazard. Look around your home with a critical eye and position your equipment and electronics such that their cords are not lying across hallways or other areas where you or those you live with tend to move or step. . 

3. Clutter

Clutter in your living space can cause trips and falls. So it is important to eliminate as many  piles of clutter lying around your home  as possible. It may be beneficial to designate a place in your home to store  the items you do not use frequently. Donating some items to others can  also help to declutter the spaces you need to walk and move around on a regular basis.

4. Poor lighting

Poor lighting is among the top culprits for falls and related injuries. Poor lighting is not only includes a dim or dark environment but also includes  bright light or glare. Either of these extremes can  also prevent you  from clearly seeing your  thereby resulting in trips and falls. onsider regulating the brightness of your living area by adding lamps in dark rooms or using curtains and shades in extremely bright rooms. Add night lights to dark halls and bathrooms so that these areas can be seen when you are navigating them at night. 

5. Shoes

Shoes can decrease or actually increase the chance of a fall related injury. . Comfortable, well-fitting and supportive shoes create an important foundation for stability and safety when walking and even moving around very short distances.   Even though comfortable and easy to put on and take off shoes like flip flops, slippers and sandals can actually be the main cause of a loss of footing and  the resulting fall.

It can be a useful activity for you and your loved one to critically evaluate these top 5 hazards and then to visit each room and hallway in your home to take note of all of the areas that could pose a potential fall risk to you in your daily routine. Our YouMeCare caregivers would be happy to do this activity with you and to help you brainstorm ways to decrease these hazards and minimize your risk for falls in your home.  Sign up to get started for free.