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  • Writer's pictureBy April Sage

Is Your Family Prepared For a Fall?

Age-related changes with our bodies such as declining eyesight, muscle weakness, poor medication management, poor sleep habits can lead to instability in mobility. Coupled with crowded hallways, throw rugs and stairs are a recipe for disaster. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four older adults is affected by a fall, that can result in hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. More than 800,000 senior Americans find themselves in the hospital each year from a fall. After the initial fall, a senior’s risk doubles to repeat falling again. If you know where to look, the risk of falling can be avoided with simple changes. Learn how to spot common fall risks to keep your loved ones as independent and healthy as possible.

Cluttered Hallways

When I’m visiting a client’s home, the entryways, walls and floor are often lined with clutter. Keep hallways, doorways, and pass-throughs void of any items to prevent walkers, wheelchairs, or even their feet from getting hung up to cause them to lose their balance.


Simple tasks such as bringing in groceries can make a person wobbly. A pushcart, utility cart, or even the seat of a walker can be used to haul groceries safely from the car to the kitchen.

Evaluate Storage

Reaching and lifting above their head to put away or to take out items can be problematic. The Costco-sized toilet paper becomes a fall risk when left on the floor near the bathroom door because it’s too heavy and awkward. Take the time to walk through their home organization focusing on ease of access and storing items at lower levels. It can also serve as a time to declutter, double win!


There is often a fear of slipping in the shower as we age. Take note if your loved one has declined in their hygiene habits, or the same smudge on their neck is still there from two days ago. They may be nervous about instability, or it’s a sign of cognitive decline. Adding nonskid mats, handheld showerheads, grab bars, or a special showering chair might help alleviate these concerns.

Throw Rugs

When I was little, my grandparents had an entire room dedicated to special guests. The carpet and furnishings were pristine. My grandma believed covering the space with throw rugs would preserve the space, even though shoes weren’t permitted. While many want to protect high traffic areas from wear and tear, throw rugs bunch up, and the uneven levels cause walkers, wheelchairs, and shuffling feet to get caught up.


Stairs can be especially challenging. I meet many families with split-level homes. If stairs can’t be avoided, ensure handrails are easily accessible and keep them well-lit with bright nonskid tape and a removable light that sticks to the wall from your favorite DIY store.

Supporting our loved one’s goals to age safely at home can be overwhelming, especially if the loved one is hiding any problems or the fact they have fallen in the first place. I suggest accompanying your loved one to their next doctor’s appointment. Whether a spouse or a parent, the second set of ears and supportive sharing of historical details can help paint a complete picture. I’ve included a few tools to help guide you at home. Check out the following tools to learn more about fall risks and how to prevent them.

Caregiving for others requires heightened focus and knowledge on the various stages, unforeseen changes, and inevitable challenges. As your advocate, it is my mission to provide personalized vetted solutions. You do not have to do this alone. Give me a call, and we can walk through your options together.

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