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When danger hits home

Posted July 09, 2014 in Advice Column, West Des Moines

One third of adults age 65 years and older fall each year, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.

Even more frightening is that half of all falls occur in or around the home.

That’s why it is important to learn about changes you can make inside and outside your home to prevent falls. Taking these safety measures can provide a safer and more secure environment.

Inside your home:
• Increase lighting so you do not have to walk through dark areas to reach light switches.
• Tape electrical cords against the wall or add additional outlets.
• Store most often used items between eye and knee level.
• Attach throw rugs securely to the floor and use slip-resistant tile on bathroom and
kitchen floors.
• Install handrails in stairways, hallways, tubs, showers and near toilets.
• Use a raised toilet seat, place a seat in the shower and install a hand-held showerhead.

Outside your home:
• Install motion detector lights by your garage, walkways and doorways.
• Enclose porches, balconies and other areas with railings.
• Clear pathways of clutter.
• Keep steps and walkways in good condition.
• Mix sand with paint and spread on steps for a non-slip surface.
• Paint the front edge of steps a bright color to make them more visible.
By following these simple steps you can reduce the chance you or a visitor to your home may fall.

Information provided by Zach Welter, Country Financial, 650 S. Prairie View Drive, Suite 200, West Des Moines, 515-223-7182.

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