Sidestep the cost of a fall at home

Imagine the cost of a new hip, or a concussion with possible long-term damage, or a rotator cuff tear, or replacing your front teeth. Then imagine that these costs could have been avoided by attending to a few simple household changes. For aging boomers facing staggering health costs, avoiding a fall could mean the difference between comfort and just scraping by.

According to Netwellness, one in three 65-year-old women will suffer a fall; after 85, half will. 31% of men between 80-84 will fall. At least a third of all falls are caused by home hazards. A serious fall can trigger a cascade of other problems, including immobility that could drive the fallen out of his/her home.

Fortunately, some simple steps can dramatically reduce the likelihood of a hazard-caused fall. Keep in mind that, as we age, our eyesight isn't as sharp, our legs aren't as strong, and our sense of balance can be compromised.

The Colorado State University Extension Service suggests

Outside:

  • Fix sidewalks and driveway to remove holes and irregular surfaces

  • Install handrails

  • Take out high thresholds

  • Trim back shrubbery along the walk

  • Clear snow and ice