Light Up Your Home

As you have learned from our December Education Journal,  one of Harmony’s 5-Point Assessment  Fall Prevention Program is  Environmental Assessment.   Falls often occur because of environmental risk factors and Harmony is dedicated to working with you to identify and reduce your fall risk factors, to create a safer environment. 

One of the most important and easy safety interventions is to Light Up Your Home, especially inside your home.  As shared last month,  55% of falls occur inside the home.1    Inadequate lighting is a major culprit of falls.    Part of your in-home environmental assessment includes evaluation of your lighting to avoid falls at night, which we want to help you avoid.   

Here are some practical tips  that I shared with my all patients who attended my Falls Prevention Clinic that they found were really helpful,  acceptable,  and feasible to make.   I share  these with you to increase your safety and avoid those falls that too frequently occur at night. 

  • Increase your automatic night lights,  such as motion-sensor lighting1:  bathrooms,  kitchen,  hallways and your bedroom.  Many of us get up during the night to get a drink of water,  to go to the bathroom,  or maybe to get up when we have trouble sleeping.    These extra soft lights helps you to see where you are going so you can avoid  tripping or slipping.
  • Consider having a touch-sensitive lamp at your bedside,  so that when you wake-up,  all you have to do is touch your lamp for lighting,  rather than trying to find the light switch.   If you are getting up and in a hurry,   we don’t want you to fumble trying to find the light switch.
  • Replace  light switches,  especially in your bathroom, with glow-in-the-dark switches so that you (or your guests) can find wall switches easily in the dark or dimly lighted rooms.   This way, you don’t have to feel along the wall to find your light switch.  
  • Always keep a working flashlight in your bedside night stand,  so that you can easily access a flashlight should you have a power outage.   Check your flashlight monthly to make sure your  batteries are working.
  • If you have stairs in your home, the National Council  on Aging also recommends to have a light switch at the top AND the bottom of your staircase, 2 so that you always turn on the staircase lights before you go up or down the stairs.

Harmony is committed to working with you to identify, modify and reduce your fall risk factors, so that ultimately your falls are prevented,  and you can feel safe and confident when you do have to get up during the night.

Your Harmony Team is here to help you!    Making these simple changes inside  your home is so important.  

I hope that you will take a few minutes and respond to this message,  and share other lighting changes that have worked for you. 

When you share,  everyone learns together. 

Thank you for reading this message and in advance for sharing with others.

Pat Quigley

References:

1 Pynoos,  J., Steinman, B.,  & Nguyen, A. (2010).  Assessment and modification as fall-prevention strategies for older adults.   Clinics in Geriatric Medicine,  26:  633-644.

2  National Council on Aging.  6 Steps for preventing falls among your older loved ones.   Here   Accessed January 17, 2020.

4 Comments

  1. Hal R

    Dr. Quigley

    I have to say that you article makes perfect sense. I almost fell last night going to bathroom and yes I did not have a night light. But I’m getting one today. Thanks for all that you are doing with this information.

    • Patricia A Quigley

      You are most welcome Hal. I hope you are staying strong and well during these transforming times. Best regards, Pat

  2. Carol Teague

    This is truly great. I love reading your posts. I didn’t realize I had educational access this readily available. Thank you!

    • Patricia A Quigley

      Hi Carol, I hope that my articles continue to be helpful to you. I also hope that you are staying strong and staying well. Best regards, Pat

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