This Safe House: How to Design Your Kitchen for Safety

falls prevention

The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home and is one of the more well-traveled rooms of the house. It is also where many falls can occur.

When it comes to freshening up a kitchen, organizing can go a long way. Here are a few tips to help you through the tricky process.

Identify your most commonly used items.

This could be anything from dishes to your favorite cooking pot. Store these items in easy to reach places. Additionally, any heavy items you have should be stored in lower cupboards. This eliminates the need to regularly climb on stepstools or chairs to reach items on higher shelves.

If you have favorite seasonal items, set up a rotation that you can swap out seasonal items twice a year between easy to reach and hard to reach places.

This way your favorite platters are easy to grab for Thanksgiving, and your favorite patriotic dishes are within reach for Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. It is great if you have family or someone else who can even do the swap out for you!

Area rugs are a great way to add a splash of color to any room, especially a kitchen.

However, area rugs can also be a tripping hazard. If your rug is in good shape, make it more secure by adding double-sided tape or a non-slip mat beneath it. If you are looking to replace your rug, look for items that come with a non-slip rubber backing.

Stepstools are a great addition to any kitchen.

A stepstool with handles or a bar at the top is usually the safest option. If you don’t like the look of the stepstool, find a storage place in your kitchen that is easily accessible. Or, if you aren’t afraid of a little DIY action, you can decorate your stepstool to match the rest of your décor.

Do you have more ideas on how you can decorate with a goal of preventing falls? Share them as a comment below or tag us in a Facebook post with your own falls prevention redecorating!

Abby Beerman is an injury prevention coordinator at University of Vermont Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. 

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