We asked members of our medical staff to answer some common questions they
hear from their patients.
Q: How can I help my parents prevent falls in their home?
A: Preventing falls is a big concern for seniors, especially during the holiday
season. Make sure walkways are clear of snow outside and packages and
decorations inside. Make sure all electrical cords are undamaged, and
never stretch them across sidewalks or hallways. That way everyone can
enjoy the beauty of the holiday season without worry.
General Home Safety Tips
Clean up clutter. Remove all clutter, such as stacks of old newspapers and magazines, especially
from hallways and staircases.
Repair or remove tripping hazards. Examine every room and hallway, looking for items such as loose carpet,
slippery throw rugs, or wood floorboards that stick up and repair, remove
or replace them.
Install grab bars and handrails. These safety devices are crucial for going up and down stairs, getting
on and off the toilet, and stepping in and out of the bathtub. Have a
handyman or family member help if necessary.
Avoid wearing loose clothing. You want to feel comfortable at home, but baggy clothes can sometimes make
you more likely to fall. Opt for better-fitting and properly hemmed clothing
that doesn’t bunch up or drag on the ground.
Light it right. Fix inadequate lighting by installing brighter light bulbs where needed,
particularly in stairways and narrow hallways.
Wear shoes. Socks may be comfortable, but they present a slipping risk. Purchase non-slip
socks that have grips on the soles of the feet if shoes are too uncomfortable.
Make it nonslip. Bathtubs and showers, as well as floors in kitchens, bathrooms, and porches,
can become extremely dangerous when wet.
Move more carefully. Many people fall at home by moving too quickly from a sitting to a standing
position and vice versa. Preventing falls like this is as easy as taking
Whitney Shawver, APRN, practices at Campbell County Medical Group
Geriatric Medicine in the
Main Clinic on the south side of
Campbell County Memorial Hospital. Call 307.688.3636 for an appointment. Learn more at