This Safe House: Improve Your Curb Appeal & Safety, Too

falls prevention

There are a lot of downsides to getting older. For one, you don’t bounce back as fast as you used to and injuries can drastically affect your mobility and even independence. With falls being the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in older adults, it is extremely important to take active steps to reduce your risk of falls.

That doesn’t mean modifying your home for your newest stage of life has to be a drab and boring experience. Look at it as an opportunity to redecorate (even on a shoe string budget). From #MarieKondo to any of the shows on HGTV, there are so many great ideas on how to decorate and we have plenty of tips on how to bring fall prevention into the mix.

Let’s talk curb appeal. Start by looking at your house from the most used entrance. This could be the side door by your driveway or the front door facing the street.

Do you have steps?

Are they in good shape? How is the railing looking? If they are cracked or wobbly, getting them repaired will improve the aesthetic of your entry and reduce your risk of tripping.

How is the lighting?

Seeing where you are walking is important no matter your age. Motion sensor lights are beneficial outside as they turn on automatically and can save you money on your energy costs. Additionally, nothing is more welcoming to a guest visiting your home than a nicely lit entrance.

Winter is no joke in Vermont, and you don’t want to spend the first ice/snow storm trying not to slip as you hunt for salt (or sand or kitty litter) you stored away from last year.

If you don’t like the look of keeping a salt bag on your porch (and who would?), convert an old planter, bucket, or wooden box into a cute salt storage container. You can add painted snowflakes, a burlap bow, or a touch of holiday lights to make the salt storage a part of your décor and a great reason not to go slipping down your front walk or driveway.

Examine your yard for exposed roots and holes.

These can be covered up with mulch or filled with dirt to prevent trips or twisted ankles. It can also be a great excuse for planting low maintenance landscaping that will look great with little need for weeding or trimming.

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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