Methodist Healthcare - July 20, 2020
by Corinne M

About a third of all accidents happen at home, and most can be prevented. The following tips can make your home safer.

Mike Sowers of San Antonio, Texas, says he set himself up for a fall in June while trying to install a digital TV antenna on his roof.

“I was standing on an extension ladder with hard rubber feet on a wet deck, with nobody to hold the ladder,” he says. 

The ladder slipped, and Sowers hit the deck on his back. His wife, a nurse, called 911. A CT scan and X-rays showed he’d cracked his L-3 vertebra. An avid runner, Sowers was sidelined with a torso brace for almost five weeks, followed by several weeks of intense physical therapy.

“I know people who were paralyzed for life after falling while cleaning gutters, so I was very lucky,” Sowers admits.

Falls cause most home injuries and deaths. Stairs, slick or uneven surfaces, throw rugs, tripping over objects (or pets), dizziness, carelessness, and weak or painful joints cause many falls.

To make your home more fall-proof:

  • Install—and use—handrails on all stairs, and use night lights or turn on lights before using steps.
  • Use non-skid mats in the tub or shower and outside on the floor so you don’t slip on tile. Install grab bars for the elderly.
  • Make sure ladders are stable and on a firm, level surface. Ask someone to hold a tall ladder steady as you climb. Don’t climb ladders if you have balance problems.

We know accidents can happen, even in the safety of our homes. We are close to home if you or a loved one needs emergency care.