Lifecare Top Tips

Common trip hazards in the home

For people with reduced mobility through age, illness or injury, it’s important to ensure the home environment is as safe as possible. It helps to start by identifying trip hazards that can be removed or avoided.

When assessing your home for potential hazards consider:

  • Loose mats and poorly-fitted carpets
  • Electrical cords and water hoses
  • Clutter on the floor or in walkways
  • Pets, such as cats and small dogs
  • Slippery and wet floors
  • Steps and uneven paving
  • Stairways and isolated areas without grab rails
  • Ill-fitting shoes or slippers
  • Slippery socks on tiled surfaces or polished floor boards
  • Poor lighting.

Some facts on the risks associated with ageing

It is estimated that at least one-third of people aged 65 years and over will take a fall one or more times in a year.

Not all falls result in injury, but some do cause damage such as hip and wrist fractures, hip and shoulder dislocations, head injuries and abrasions, bruising and sprains.

Those with reduced bone density from conditions such as osteoporosis or osteoarthritis are at a much greater risk of serious injury. Fear of falling can also result in loss of confidence and restriction of activities.

Contrary to popular belief, falls are not inevitable. The likelihood of experiencing a fall can be reduced by:

  • Understanding and addressing the risk factors
  • Improving safety and convenience in and around your home
  • Maintaining a good exercise program for increased balance and strength
  • Wearing comfortable shoes and clothing that offer freedom of movement.