Stairs and getting about the house
Are staircases and landings well lit?
Routes should be kept illuminated when they are in use and ensure that light switches are easily reached.
Is there a two way light switch present (e.g. a switch at both the top & bottom of stairs)?
Have an electrician fit a two way lightswitch. Consider the local council ‘handy person scheme’.
Do you feel stable when going up and down the stairs?
It is essential to have a handrail, even on small flights of stairs. Additional ones can be fitted by the local handyperson scheme. Consider minimising journeys up and down the stairs.
When you walk through a room, do you have to walk around furniture?
Consider moving things so that your path is clear. Ask someone to help if needed and always use your walking aid as instructed.
Check any walking aid you use is measured up for you and is in good condition.
Are there papers, magazines, books, shoes, boxes, blankets, towels, or other objects on the floor?
Pick up things that are on the floor and always keep objects off the floor. A ‘helping hand’ may reduce stooping / overreaching.
Do you have to walk over or around cords or wires (e.g. cords and wires from lamps, extension cords or telephone cords)?
Coil or tape cords and wires next to the wall so they are not a tripping hazard. If possible have an electrician put in another socket.
Do you have a letterbox cage to avoid stooping to pick up your letters?
These are quite easy to fit, and apart from saving you from stooping, will also stop papers being spread across the floor just inside the doorway which could make you slip. (Available at DIY stores and the handy person scheme can fit)
Do you have loose rugs or runners on the floor?
Remove the rugs & runners or use non slip matting beneath the rugs to prevent them from slipping.
If you fall do you have a system for calling assistance?
A personal alarm pendant is a good way of doing this, and there are a number of schemes available - see contact details. Or make sure you carry your mobile phone with you where ever you go. (Make sure it is charged and you know how to use it!)
Are the carpets in good condition and not frayed?
Worn carpets are a major cause of serious falls and should be replaced or secured.
Avoid rushing, for example make sure you go to toilet in plenty of time.
Pace yourself to prevent fatigue. Don't leave it too late going to bed
Do you struggle to answer the door in time?
Consider a key safe put in a discreet place for family, friends and care providers to allow them self access.
If you feel that you are struggling with your environment or coping within your home, please discuss with your family or contact social services, or local charities such as Age uk about more support.
Fire Safety Advice
- Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and test it regularly. Local fire services or handy man service can support with this. Assistive technology services can support with specialised alarms for those with sensory impairment