5 Home Modifications to Prevent Falls this Summer

| Live Your Life PT

Are you planning to clear out the clutter from your life? Are you looking to improve the safety of your home as you age? Your home environment is a major contributor to your risk of falling. Studies have estimated at 50-60% of all falls occurs within the home.1 With many older adults deciding to remain in their homes as they age, making easy and simple home modifications can reduce your risk of falling in the future. Here are 5 home modifications to prevent falls this summer:

  • Adding External Supports: The first questions we ask our clients as movement specialists are how many stairs or steps you have in your home, do your steps have handrails, and do you have grab bars in your bathroom. Installing external supports for complex environments will improve your safety and independence with home mobility as you age. Consider installing handrails for steps you need to perform to enter your home as well as within your home and placing grab bars near toilets and in showers to optimize safety in these areas.
  • Improving Lighting: Our visual system is one of the most important systems that contribute to our balance with mobility. Assess the lighting in all areas of your home, especially in the spaces that has the most traffic. Replace any light bulbs that may have burned out or implement motion activated sensors for your lights, so they automatically turn on when you enter a room.
  • Bathroom Modifications: Consider investing in converting your bathtub to a curb-less shower to improve the accessibility of this space. You could purchase a shower chair or tub bench to give you a place to sit when performing self-cares in the bathroom. Moreover, placing a raised toilet seat could be a good option to improve your independence with getting up and down from a low surface such as a toilet.
  • Removing Clutter: Having too much clutter including boxes, clothes, and toys on the ground can increase your risk of tripping and falling. Make sure you clear your floors of any potential tripping hazards. Furthermore, consider removing rugs or making sure all mats/rugs are secured to the floor or are non-slip to reduce your risk of falling.  
  • Downsizing on Furniture: Is there a room in your house with lots of large and heavy furniture? Consider downsizing the size of furniture or removing pieces that you do not use very often. This process will improve your ability to navigate your house, increase accessibility, and reduce your risk of falling with household mobility.

One of our major functions as a physical therapist is to improve your ability to be independent and safely access all areas of your life, including mobilizing within your home. If you or someone you know has fallen in their own home or has difficulty navigating their home, then check out our physical therapy wellness program Live Your Life SAFELY AT HOME. Contact us today for a free consultation! 


1What Contributes to Falls? – Province of British Columbia. Gov.bc.ca. Published 2020. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/family-social-supports/seniors/health-safety/disease-and-injury-care-and-prevention/fall-prevention/what-contributes-to-falls

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