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Aging in Place

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Older adults often want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. Aging in place is described as the ability to safely and independently stay in one's home and community regardless of age. Creating and adapting current spaces to meet your needs is a key factor in staying in your home as long as possible.

Prevent Problems That Could Lead to Injury or Loss of Independence

The majority of falls (55 percent) among older people occur inside the home and an additional 23 percent take place outside, near the home. A number of potential home hazards are ones you can find and fix.

Floors

  • Do you have throw rugs on the floor?
    • Remove the rugs or use nonslip backing or double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Do you have to walk over or around cords or wires?
    • Tape or coil the cords/wires next to the wall so you don’t trip on them.
  • Do you have objects or clutter on the floor?
    • Keep objects off the floor.

Stairs/Steps

  • Are the handrails loose or available only on one side of the stairs?
    • Fix loose handrails and install them on both sides of the stairs.
  • Do you have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
    • Have an electrician install switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Get light switches that glow.
  • Is the carpet on the steps ripped or loose?
    • Fix the carpet so it is firmly attached to each step.
  • Do you have a light over the stairway?
    • Have an electrician put in lights at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Do you have clutter or objects on the stairs?
    • Pick up items from the stairs and always keep them clear.

Kitchen

  • Do you use a chair instead of a stepstool?
    • Use a steady stepstool with a grab bar.
  • Are items you use often on the high shelves?
    • Move items used often to lower shelves (above waist level).

Bathrooms

  • Do you need support when using the bathroom?
    • Install grab bars inside and outside of the tub/shower and next to the toilet.
  • Is the floor of the tub or shower slippery?
    • Place a nonslip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub/shower for better grip.

Bedrooms

  • Is the light by the bed hard to reach?
    • Put the lamp close to the bed so it is easy to reach.
  • Is the path from the bed to the bathroom dark?
    • Use a night-light that turns on automatically after dark.
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Do you want to learn more about reducing your risk of falling?

Stepping On is the program for you. Stepping On is an evidence-based program shown to reduce falls by 30%. It is designed specifically for people who are at risk of falling, have a fear of falling, or who have fallen one or more times. Participants meet for two hours a week for seven weeks. Trained leaders facilitate workshops and provide a safe and positive learning experience.

Find a Class
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Stepping On

Stepping On is a national evidence-based program designed to help older adults take control of their fall risks, explore coping behaviors and use safety strategies in everyday life.