No matter our age, slips and falls are almost inevitable. However, with a little care, we can minimize our chances of falling and seriously injuring ourselves with these simple safety and preventative measures.

Clean up: How many times have you stepped on a lego block, or stumbled over a pile of dirty clothes on the floor? The simple act of clearing floors, stairways, and pathways in and around your home is one easy way to avoid falls.

Install Lighting: Install motion sensing lights along dark hallways and along exterior paths to your home for those who have difficulty seeing clearly at night.

Use Railings: Encourage children and the elderly to hold railings on stairs. This way if they accidently slip, they could catch themselves before risking serious injury. You can even install safety bars around toilets and shower stalls for anyone who needs a little help up and down (or in and out).

Install non-slip surfaces: Wood or concrete paths and stairs can get slippery in cold or wet weather and socks on wood or smooth floors can make for a slippery situation! Install non-slip pads on exterior walking surfaces, and consider covering inside floors with rugs (with a non stick bottom) to minimize slipping.

Organize your home logically: By this, we mean put things closest to where you use it most. You wouldn’t store your coffee mugs in the bathroom right? The less distance you need to travel to get things done, the lower your chances of slipping become.

Notice your footwear: Make sure you wear well fitting shoes (or slippers with non-stick bottoms). Shoes that are too big or small affect your natural walking rhythms, making you more likely to fall.

Exercise for strength: Stronger legs give you a good foundation to help minimize slips and falls.

By practicing these safety precautions, and seeking help when you need it, you can minimize your chances of serious injury from “common” slips and falls around your home.

On a related note, did you know that today, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day dedicated to increasing awareness of advanced healthcare directives and planning? If you or your loved one doesn’t have a medical plan for emergencies, please contact your local healthcare provider who can help you prepare one, or refer you to a legal professional to help.

Follow the discussion today on social media using the hashtag #HealthcareDecisionsDay.

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