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The Experience

A Caregiver's Guide: Home Safety and Avoiding Falls

Before the patient comes home to recover, the caregiver can help make the residence safe by rearranging furniture, placing commonly used items within reach and making sure potential obstacles are removed:

  • Pick up throw rugs from the floor, as they can slip.
  • Tack down loose carpeting.
  • Place regularly used items such as remote controls,
    medications, food and reading materials, in easily
    accessible locations.
  • Widen furniture paths to accommodate a walker or cane.
  • Place frequently used cooking supplies and utensils where
    they can be reached without too much bending or stretching.
  • Be aware of all floor hazards (including pets) so they are not in the patient’s way.
  • Be aware of uneven surfaces.
  • Provide good lighting throughout the home.
  • Install nightlights in the bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways.
  • Keep extension cords and telephone cords out of pathways.
  • Do not run wires under rugs; this could lead to a fall and is also a fire hazard.
  • Untuck bedding to allow for easier access into and out of the patient's bed.

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