Home Safety Tips: Avoiding Falls on Stairways
Falling on stairways is one of the most common home accidents. Researchers have found three major factors that increase the likelihood of a fall on or from a stairway:
- Environmental factors — lack of handrails, poor stair design, construction and maintenance, inadequate lighting, and the lack of a proper tread surface on each stair.
- Behavioural factors — improper footwear, not being familiar with the stairway, lack of concentration especially when carrying items up or down the stairs, and poorly modifying or maintaining a stairway.
- Health factors — an inactive lifestyle, problems with vision, drowsiness, and loss of balance.
Bow Valley Insurance recommends staying active, scheduling regular vision and hearing checks with your doctor and correcting any other factors listed above. As we get older, the risks rise.
Special Concerns When Aging
Nearly half of all long-term care home admissions are the result of a fall. As we age, a fall often results in injuries that can limit our ability to move and remain active. Fall prevention in older adults is about maintaining your independence so you can continue to enjoy spending time at home with your friends, grandchildren, and other family members.
If you are getting older or have older adults in your home, take proper precautions to prevent a fall on stairs. For further prevention, have high-quality handrails installed for each stairway in your home.
Additional tips on how older people can avoid falls:
- Wear sturdy, low-heeled footwear with rubber soles and consider using assistive devices such as ice-gripping spikes for your shoes and boots to make your outdoor activities safer.
- If prescribed, always wear your glasses and hearing aid.
- Install grab bars inside your shower and bathtub, and near the commode.
- Allow plenty of time to get to your destinations; being in a hurry increases your risk of falling.
- Consider using a cane, walker or other assistive device when running errands.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration causes dizziness and increases the likelihood of a fall.
- Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D and talk with your doctor about taking a supplement to prevent bone loss.
- Take extra care if you take any medication to help you relax, sleep, or improve mood. These types of medications often have side effects that include drowsiness.
- Always be careful when consuming alcohol since it may interact with your medications. Moderation is key.
- Have your doctor or pharmacist check any medications you take once per year including your prescriptions, over-the-counter products, and herbal supplements for harmful interactions.
Bow Valley Insurance
At Bow Valley Insurance, our promise is to find you the best home and auto insurance at the most affordable rate. Above and beyond that, we are always are always looking for ways to assist our clients saving on insurance.