Trips and falls

Avoid trips and falls in the home by following these safety tips.

The majority of accidents involving older people are falls, especially in the home.

The most serious accidents involving older people usually happen on the stairs or in the kitchen. The bedroom and the living room are the most common locations for accidents in general.

Falls affect over a third of people over 65 and 40% of people over 80. Follow this advice to stay safe:

  • avoid leaving items on the stairs – they can become a tripping hazard
  • ensure stairs are well maintained, with damaged or worn carpet repaired
  • make sure landings, stairs and hallways are well lit
  • make sure banisters are sturdy.

Worn rugs, slippery floors or paths, uneven surfaces, trailing flexes, and items left lying around can increase the danger of slips and trips. Spills on the floor should be cleaned up immediately to prevent slipping.

    For more information on staying safe from trips and falls, visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents website.

    Winter safety

    It’s also important to make sure you protect yourself outdoors in ice and snow. Follow this advice:

    • wear sturdy shoes with a good grip
    • take it slowly and give yourself extra time to get about
    • keep an eye on what’s underfoot
    • if you have older neighbours, offer to pop to the shops for them
    • try to minimise the need to go out. Ask friends or neighbours to shop for you or take you to where you need to go
    • try to avoid slopes, steps and areas that haven’t been cleared
    • don’t take short cuts through areas where slipping hazards are greater
    • ask a friend or neighbour to clear a safe path from your front door
    • consider using a stick or a walking pole and take slow, small steps.
    • use rails that you can hold on to
    • if possible, wear extra layers to protect the more vulnerable parts of your body like your head, neck and spine if you do fall
    • wipe your feet well when entering buildings.