Fall prevention design tips from world renowned interior designer Kimberley Seldon
"Believe it or not, a person's home can be a hazardous place for falls. For someone with osteoporosis, even a minor fall like a slip on the stairs or fall from a seated position can cause a bone to break and have serious consequences. Without the proper precautions, places like stairwells, the kitchen and washrooms, as well as living rooms and bedrooms, may harbour fall hazards for someone with osteoporosis. The good news is that it is possible to design a beautiful home and protect your bones."
Living room and hallways
- Keep hallways clear and free from clutter and obstacles. Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands away from high traffic areas.
- Underfoot, think non-slip. Choose tiles that are honed or have a textured surface. Place a non-slip pad under all area rugs.
- Anchor electrical cords close to the wall and ensure there are no loose extensions.
- Wooden staircases should have a carpet runner for traction. Make sure the runner is secured firmly to each step with no loose edges.
- Avoid accumulating clutter like keys, books or shoes on the stairs.
- Ensure there is a handrail which is sturdy and easy to grip.
- Keep your kitchen organized so that everything is easy to access.
- Wipe up liquid, grease or food spills in the kitchen immediately.
- Use a sturdy step stool (not a chair), when you need to reach up to higher kitchen cupboards.
- Use non-slip bath mats by the sink and shower to help absorb splashes.
- Use rubber mats or slip-resistant stickers in the bathtub.
- A shower organizer will help keep all of your soaps, shampoos and other bath products organized, so that they are easy reach when you are in the shower.
- Install outdoor lights at all entrances to your home and ensure the lighting is bright enough to see clearly at night.
- Ensure hand railings alongside front and back stairs, along with the steps themselves, are sturdy and in good repair.
- During winter months ensure the driveway and entrances are shoveled and salted. Elderly people and those with limited mobility may wish to consider hiring a snow shovel service.