June is Older Americans Month and here at Texas Foot Specialists, we want to honor our more senior patients by helping address an important concern: preventing falls in and around the home. As people age, homes they’ve lived in for years may become a landmine of fall hazards. It’s important to take the time to do an entire home walk-through to look with an objective eye at possible risks and ways to improve the home environment to make it safer. It’s a good idea to enlist the aid of a younger relative for a second set of eyes. Below are some areas to assess:
Floors and Walkways
Start in your bedroom and walk through your day in the house. As you go, check for the following:
- Throw rugs or carpeting that is rough or untacked
- Electrical, computer or television cords
- Magazine racks or other small furniture that is low to the ground
- Stacks of newspapers or other clutter
The bathroom contains a number of potential hazards that should be addressed:
- Put anti-slip strips on the bottom of the tub or shower
- Install handrails for toilet and shower or tub
- If balance is already an issue, consider the addition of a shower seat
Examine the entrances and exits to your home and garage and look for:
- Cracked or broken pavement or uneven surfaces on walkways
- Stairways that are dimly lit
- Trees that shed an abundance of acorns or other plant matter on your sidewalk or driveway
A few general tips to keep in mind throughout your home:
- Place frequently-used items within easy reach. Try to eliminate the need for step stools by not using cabinets that are too high to comfortably get to.
- Install railings on both sides of the stairs.
- Be sure all areas of the home have adequate lighting for nighttime.
In addition to fall-proofing your home, another big way to reduce the risk of trips and falls is by getting foot pain evaluated and treated promptly. When your feet hurt, you are more apt to change the way you walk, and this can throw you off balance and cause a spill. Contact our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office for an appointment and allow one of our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum or Dr. Bruce Miller, to examine your feet and find the source of your discomfort.