white older adults standing close smiling looking at wood home model in their hands

How to Prevent Falls with Home Safety Modifications

Many older adults choose to continue living at home as they age. However, their homes may not be as functional as they once were.  In fact, over half of all falls take place at home. With a few modifications, however, you can make your home a safe and comfortable place to age in place, independently, and reduce the risk of falling.

5 quick and easy home modifications you can make on your own

Secure some support: Buy a shower seat, grab bar, and adjustable-height handheld shower head to make bathing easier and safer.

  1. Light it up: Replace burnt-out bulbs with bright, non-glare lightbulbs.
  2. Have a seat: Place a sturdy chair in your bedroom so you can sit while getting dressed.
  3. Clear the way: Keep items off the stairs and fix simple but serious hazards such as clutter and throw rugs.
  4. Store for success: Keep frequently used items between your waist and shoulder height.

As you’re going through your house and inspecting your home for falls risk, refer to this home modification checklist for additional safety recommendations. Some home fixes, like installing grab bars in the bathroom or repairing loose pavement, may require a health professional or a housing contractor to assist with the install or modification.

Your home doesn’t have to be an obstacle course of potential falls. For more tips, check out our 18 steps that can help fall proof your home.

These materials were developed by the National Home Safety and Home Modification Work Group. The Work Group is a collaboration of the National Falls Prevention Resource Center at the National Council on Aging and the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence at the University of Southern California Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. For more information, visit bit.ly/NHSHMworkgroup and www.homemods.org/hmin to find home modification funding sources.  This project was supported, in part by grant number 90FP0023 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

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