Be it your own home or the home of someone in your care, for safety’s sake, look around!
Cords! Do you see any cords of any type, including electrical cords, extending out into the floor? Tuck all cords behind the furniture and in the corner up against the wall, using a small piece of duct tape (or something sticky like that, that you have on hand) if needed. Are the computer cords out where one’s foot can get caught in it? Bunch up the excess and use a twist tie or similar to shorten it and hold it out of the way. Check everything, lamps, tv’s, telephone, cables, just keep going until you can look around and not see anything your foot (or anyone else’s) can get caught up in.
Rugs! Do you have any of those small scatter rugs about? Unless they are necessary, get rid of them! If they ARE necessary, get a non-slip pad and put under it. Alternately, you can use double-sided tape, but I prefer the non-slip pads because you can move it and not worry about getting sticky residue off of the floor.
Large, heavy area rugs are generally great because they ARE so large and heavy. However, if you have edges that your foot may stump on to (causing you to possibly trip), this is a good spot to use the double-sided tape. Chances of you moving this large rug will be few and far between to worry about.
Have wall-to-wall carpet? Nice! 🙂
Pets! We love them! They are wonderful company and good for our heart and mental well-being. Wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world! And a plus, help us to get some exercise, too! But with all of that, there is the fact that they can be a trip hazard. They don’t mean to be, but they just are. They may come up out of nowhere and you don’t notice until you trip over them. For these fur babies, try putting a small bell on their collar so that you can hear them as they approach.
Then there are the excited pup, jumping all around you, wondering where you’re going, if you have food, whatever, they want to know. lol Or there’s the cat that just wants to love and rub up on your legs… while you’re trying to walk. Inevitably, you end up tripping over them. Ok, needless to say, some will say they need to be trained. But even the best of training just doesn’t work with some. For this, I found having my trusty Gandalf stick (walking stick) comes in handy. It creates kind of an invisible barrier that will alert your dog to stay back, or you can use it to gently nudge your kitty out of your way. But it does keep you aware of where you’re walking and what’s around your feet.
Then there are the occasions you may be walking thru a dimly lit room in your house or get up out of bed to go to the bathroom, and there’s your pet laying quietly in the floor. You have no idea they’re laying there, didn’t even think about it. But you couldn’t see them and, yes, you guessed it, you tripped. Idea, put a piece of glow-in-the-dark tape around on their collar. Maybe seeing that glowing hue will alert you that they are there. If you need a bit more of something, use…
…nightlights! I have at least one nightlight in every room of my house and down the hallway, especially important at staircases! And don’t forget the bathroom! The ones I use are just regular nightlights that have a sensor on them to turn off during the day and automatically come on in the evenings. I love being able to see without having to fumble to turn on lamps or bright overhead lights.
You have no rugs? Great! No worries of tripping over them. However, with hardwood or linoleum, you do have to worry more about slipping. So be sure to always wear shoes or slippers with a non-slip sole. If you insist on socks, wear the ones with the rubberized spots/strips across the bottom, to prevent slipping.
The Kitchen! Personally, I have no issues sliding in my kitchen, but some people do. There are these heavy runner mats in different lengths. They are heavy enough they lay flat and don’t slide, plus are cushiony to relieve foot pressure.
The Bathroom! Now the bathroom is one of the biggest and main places for falls to happen! There is water, powder, whatever. You MUST be careful. Now, many people use towels on the floor, which really isn’t the greatest option. Granted, it soaks up water, but has a habit of moving around and tripping you or sliding. Get mats/rugs that are MADE for the bathroom. They are absorbent, lay flat, and have that rubbery backside to prevent it from slipping. I put mine all around… in front of the tub, in front of the sink and in front of the commode.
And think of getting some of those grip/grab bars and have them put in locations that you can use them most, like in the shower, by the commode, along a wall that you stand to dry off/dress.
Oh yes, and invest in a laundry basket. A pile of dirty clothes in the floor is just begging you to trip!
Outside Porch, Steps, Sidewalks & Railing! Ok, this is a tricky place that needs definite attention. Firstly and easiest done, keep the walk path clear. Next, and may need some help with this part, make sure the railing is sturdy and secure! A railing does no good if it’s loose or wobbly. Next, in the wintertime, in cases of snow or ice, have rock salt handy and keep it sprinkled on the porch, steps and sidewalk to keep the ice melted to prevent that slip-hazard!
The Refrigerator! There could be things in there that can make you sick. Be sure to periodically go through it.
Check out your leftovers. Two or three days is usually max. If in doubt, throw it out!
Expiration dates. Go through everything on the door, in drawers and on the shelves. Check that mayo, sour cream and salad dressing. Check everything. If they’ve gone beyond their date, toss them.
Room Temp Veggies (like potatoes) & Fruit! If you’re wondering where those little flies are coming from check your potatoes! Things like that last so well, people sometimes forget them…until they can’t figure out what that odd odor is or start seeing those pesky little flies.
The Pantry! And let’s not forget the pantry and cabinets. Canned foods seem to last forever, and granted, many can/do last a bit beyond expiration. However, when I looked in the back of my pantry (ok, it had been a while since I had done a bit of thorough cleaning), I’d say 7 years beyond expiration is too long. lol So remember to clean out that cupboard once in a while. Because it’s disappointing when you’re in the midst of cooking, grab that ingredient, and it’s not good!
The Medicine Cabinet! Now, the medicine cabinet… cabinet, drawer, wherever you keep them. Go through that occasionally. You don’t want to be thinking you have a medication for something, then when the time comes that you need it, you get it out and see it’s a few years out of date. Be safe and clear out old medications…be it pills, liquids, salves or creams. And while you’re there, go ahead and double-check to make sure you have plenty of bandaids.
Just do it, for safety’s sake! 🙂