Fix Fall Hazards in Your Home

How to Identify and Fix Fall Hazards in Your Home: A Guide for Older Adults

Maintaining balance becomes increasingly important as we age to prevent falls – which can have serious consequences for seniors. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults – among adults 65 and older, falls were responsible for over 38,000 deaths and over 3 million emergency center visits in 2021!

Several factors are key to improving your fall risk including:

Group Otago | How to Identify and Fix Fall Hazards in Your Home: A Guide for Older Adults
Group Otago | How to Identify and Fix Fall Hazards in Your Home: A Guide for Older Adults


Many fall hazards can be found and addressed within the home environment. In this guide, we’ll explore how to identify and fix fall hazards in your home.


Identifying Fall Hazards in Your Home

Before addressing fall hazards in your home, it’s essential to identify potential risk factors. Some common fall hazards for seniors include:

  1. Clutter: Objects such as loose rugs, electrical cords, and furniture cluttering pathways can increase the risk of tripping and falling.
  2. Poor Lighting: Inadequate lighting in hallways, staircases, and other areas can make it difficult to see potential obstacles or changes in elevation.
  3. Slippery Surfaces: Wet or slick floors, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, can lead to slips and falls.
  4. Uneven Flooring: Uneven surfaces, thresholds, or loose floorboards can pose tripping hazards.
  5. Lack of Handrails: Absence or inadequate handrails on staircases, in bathrooms, and around the home can make it challenging to maintain balance and stability.


Fixing Fall Hazards in Your Home

Once you’ve identified potential fall hazards, it’s time to take action to mitigate these risks. Here are some tips for fixing fall hazards in your home:

  1. Declutter: Remove unnecessary items and furniture from pathways to create clear and unobstructed walking areas. Secure loose rugs with double-sided tape or non-slip pads to prevent them from slipping.
  2. Improve Lighting: Install bright, energy-efficient LED bulbs in hallways, staircases, and other areas prone to low lighting. Consider adding motion-sensor lights or nightlights to illuminate pathways at night.
  3. Address Slippery Surfaces: Use non-slip mats or rugs in bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas where moisture or spills are common. Ensure that outdoor walkways are clear of debris and have adequate traction, especially during inclement weather.
  4. Repair Flooring: Fix any uneven surfaces, loose floorboards, or thresholds that could cause tripping hazards. Consider installing ramps or lifts for areas with significant changes in elevation.
  5. Install Handrails: Add sturdy handrails along staircases, in bathrooms, and near entryways to provide support and stability. Make sure handrails are securely mounted and at a comfortable height for users.


For a comprehensive guide on what to look out for, a printable fall prevention checklist is available here from the CDC. If you are looking for help, our team at Group Otago are experts at home assessments and would love to help you identify any risks in your home as well as recommendations on how to find vetted contractors to make any updates that will reduce your fall risk.

By identifying and addressing fall hazards in your home, and incorporating balance training and exercises like Group Otago into your routine, you can significantly reduce your risk of falls and maintain your independence as you age. Whether you prefer practicing balance exercises at home or attending fun group classes with other older adults, prioritizing your safety and well-being is key to living a healthy and active lifestyle.

Take proactive steps today to create a safer and more supportive environment for yourself and enjoy the benefits of improved balance and mobility for years to come.