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By Mary Friesz
Injury Prevention Specialist Richland County Health Department 



August 17, 2011 | View PDF

According to 2010 Montana Injury Burden Report: "Nearly half of fall related deaths occur in the home. In 2006 Montana had the fourth highest fall fatality rate for all ages in the United States." It only takes minutes to identify, control and eliminate the hazards around your home that cause to slips and falls.

• Clear clutter off the floor. (pick up newspapers, books, shoes, toys, magazines, clothes etc.)

• Secure or use non-skid rugs or avoid area throw rugs all together

• Take extra care with changes in floor surface. (such as when carpet meets tile floors)

• Wipe up spills immediately

• Always keep steps and staircases clear of debris and well lit

• Close drawers and cabinets

• Use a sturdy step stool (not a chair), when you need to reach up into those top kitchen cupboards

• Install actual grab bars by the toilet, shower and tub. (note: towel racks, soap dishes etc. are not designed to hold a person's weight) Use a shower chair and handheld showerhead if prone to falling

• Use non-skid bath mats by the shower and sink. (they help absorb splashes) & use rubber mats or slip resistant stickers in the bathtub

• Watch where you're walking, avoid distractions; stay focused on what you're doing

• Keep driveways and walkways free of debris, ice and snow

By taking the time to make your home safer you are giving yourself time to enjoy life… One fall could take months to recover from if complete recovery is even possible. Doctor and hospital bills could amount to thousands of dollars. Loss of independence is a top concern for older individuals. Remember injuries are preventable. For further information contact Richland County Health Department.


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