This information is a guide to help you reduce your risk of having a fall at home. Falls can’t always be prevented but ensuring that the home is a safe place can help reduce the risk.

Safety in the bedroom

  • Install night lights.
  • Arrange furniture to make a clear path around the room.
  • Ensure that blankets and covers are tucked in
  • Avoid raised or unsecured rugs that you could slip or trip on.
  • If you live with other people, put a baby monitor in the bedroom so you can be heard by people in other rooms.
  • Place a bell to call for assistance when needed.

Safety in the bathroom

  • Install night lights.
  • Have a bell handy to call for assistance
  • Install grab bars in the shower and next to the toilet.
  • Place non-slip mats in the shower and on bathroom floors.
  • Install a raised toilet seat. This is a seat that fits over the toilet and makes it easier to stand up.
  • Install a shower where you can adjust the height so you can sit down.
  • Clean up spills immediately.

Safety in the home

  • Install night lights.
  • Keep your home tidy.
  • Install handrails in the hallways, entrances and on both sides of stairs.
  • Clear paths around furniture and in hallways.
  • Ensure rooms and hallways are well lit and light switches are easily accessible.
  • Install a ramp on entrances and stairs.
  • Remove mats and rugs from floors which may cause trip hazards.
  • Keep a fully charged cordless phone within reach.
  • Install a medical alert system.
  • Ensure smoke detectors and fire alarms are working.
  • Put emergency numbers in an accessible place.
  • Pets cause a significant number of falls ang extra care needs to be taken if you have them.
  • Make uneven floors level.
  • Secure long cords and place them out of the way or cover them.

Equipment safety

  • Do not wear poor fitting, loose or high-heel shoes.
  • Ensure clothing fits well and is not too long or loose.
  • Do not walk around in socks because they are slippery.
  • If you use a walker or cane, make sure there is space in the hallways and rooms to move.
  • If you use a wheelchair and are at risk of falling, use a lap tray (available from medical supply shops).
  • Consider a bedpan by your bed to minimise trips to the bathroom at night.

 Additional safety tips

  • Have your vision checked. Poor eyesight, the wrong glasses prescription, glaucoma and cataracts can affect safety.
  • Have your doctor review your medications. Some medications can affect balance and/or cause drowsiness or dizziness.
  • Consider having an occupational therapist assess your home, as they may be able to suggest changes to help prevent falls. Your GP can refer you.
  • Be physically active every day. Whatever your age, aim to do at least 30 minutes of activity, at least 5 times a week.
  • Consider the purchase of a personal alarm.

Disclaimer This document describes the generally accepted practice at the time of publication only. It is only a summary of clinical knowledge regarding this area. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital makes no warranty, express or implied, that the information contained in this document is comprehensive. They accept no responsibility for any consequence arising from inappropriate application of this information.

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  • Preventing Falls at Home #53
  • Owner: Inpatient Ward
  • Last Reviewed: August 25, 2018
  • Next Review: August 25, 2022