Fall Prevention Checklist

fall prevention

Fall Prevention Checklist for Seniors

According to Aging.com, “Every 11 seconds, a senior adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall.” There are many factors that can contribute to a senior’s fall risk. These include hazards around your home, medical conditions, and physical impairments. Fortunately, there are several fall prevention strategies you can use to prevent falls and injuries.

Home Fall Prevention Causes & Solutions

Use this checklist to make your home a safer place:

·         Repair Damaged Floors or Carpets - If any parts of your floor or carpet are damaged or loose, be sure you get them repaired or replaced.

·         Secure Throw Rugs and Carpets - According to the US National Library of Medicine, almost 38,000 seniors are treated in U.S. emergency departments for falls associated with carpets and rugs each year. When throw rugs get flipped over, they can pose a tripping hazard. Consider replacing them, taping them down, or getting rubber mats to prevent them from sliding.

·         Get Rid of Clutter - Clutter on your floors is a tripping hazard, especially if you have poor vision. Remove the clutter and come up with an organization system to help you navigate your home safely.

·         Carefully Place Cords – When your foot gets caught on a cord it can knock you off balance and cause you to fall. Limit the number of cords in your home and make sure they are not underfoot to help reduce your fall risk.

·         Get a Grip on Slippery Surfaces - If you have hardwood floors that are slippery, consider getting rugs to improve your grip and avoid senior falls. Be sure to get a mop with a long handle as well so that you can easily clean up any spills. Make sure your house shoes and slippers have a good tread that grips well.

·         Avoid Swivel Chairs – If a swivel chair happens to move while you are trying to get up, it can knock you over. Try to avoid swivel chairs.

·         Avoid Chairs without Armrests – Chairs without armrests also lack support and stability. They don’t have anywhere for you to steady yourself as you try to get up.

·         Make Sure Feet Can Touch the Ground – If there is a gap between yourself and the ground as you try to get up, it can affect your ability to land stably on the ground. It is safer to only use chairs that are low enough for your feet to touch the ground.

·         Install Grab Bars – Many falls occur in bathrooms because they can be wet and slippery. Prevent falls in the bathroom by installing grab bars. If you slip or lose your balance, grab bars provide a way to catch yourself.

·         Lay Non-Skid Bathmats - Put non-skid mats inside your shower as well as right outside your shower to avoid falling on wet, slippery floors.

·         Use a Bath Bench – Consider getting a bath bench or chair. They are designed to be left inside your shower or tub for fall prevention while bathing.

·         Check Handrails – It is very important to have handrails on stairs. They help you stabilize yourself as you go up or down the stairs as well as help you catch yourself if you start to fall. If any stairways in your home don’t have railings, be sure to install them.

·         Keep Obstacles Off Stairwells - Some people like to put decorations on their stairs or other items that they need to take up or down the stairs. However, this presents a fall risk. It is safer to avoid putting any items on your stairs.

·         Use Bright Tape - If you have any issues with your vision, putting bright tape on the edges of stairs can help you see them so that you avoid missteps and falling.

·         Avoid Carrying Certain Items Up and Down Stairs – Be strategic about hazardous items. For instance, if you have any dangling or heavy items that you use both upstairs and downstairs such as charger cables, computer or phone cords, blankets, etc., consider buying 2 of those items so you won't have to constantly carry them up and down the stairs. Over 1 million injuries occur each year as the result of stairway falls.

·         Ensure All Areas Are Well Lit - Ensure that all areas of your home are well lit including the outside doorway and walkways, hallways, and closets.

·         Consider Keeping Lights on In High-Traffic Areas – If there are any areas of your home that you use often, consider simply leaving the lights on. This will help you avoid walking in the dark and decrease your risk of falling.

·         Place Lamps within Easy Reach – Place all your lamps and light switches in easy to reach places. This will also help you avoid having to walk across a room in the dark.

·         Replace Lightbulbs - If any of your light bulbs burn out, replace them as soon as you can. If it is high up and you require a step stool, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to replace it for you to avoid falling.

·         Use Nightlights – Use nightlights in hallways and bathrooms to help brighten the way at night.

·         Put a Small Flashlight Near Your Bed – Keep a small flashlight next to your bed so you always have a quick and easy way to light your path.

·         Buy Proper Footwear – When you buy shoes and house slippers, be sure to buy sturdy footwear with good cushioning and a gripping tread. This will help you stay on your feet and avoid foot pain.

·         Use Canes and Walkers when Needed – If you feel unbalanced when you walk, get a cane or walker to help steady yourself.

·         Wear Your Medical Alert Device – Alert1 medical alert devices are designed to be worn at all times—while awake, when sleeping, and while in the shower. This ensure you have protection standing by whenever and wherever you may need it.






1,2 Aging.com staff. n.d. Fact Sheet: Falls- The Biggest Threat to Senior Health and Safety. Aging.com. Fact Sheet: Falls- The Biggest Threat to Senior Health and Safety.

3,4 Rosen, Tony. Mack, Karin A. Noonan, Rita K. Jan. 2013. PMC Articles. US National Library of Medicine. Slipping and Tripping: Fall Injuries in Adults Associated with Rugs and Carpets.

5 Conney Safety staff. n.d. Did You Know? Conney Safety. Stairway/Staircase Accidents.