Everyone should be able to feel safe in their own home- and fall prevention can be a key part of this. For the elderly and those with disabilities, this is not only about the security of a home, it’s about ensuring the home is comfortable and easy to live in, removing any potential risks of injury or falling.

Falls are a major contributor to accidents in the home. It’s thought that a third of people over the age of 65 will have a fall at home – with the number increasing over the age of 80. When an accident happens, it can be very unnerving and leave a person feeling vulnerable.

Fall prevention is therefore key in ensuring a safe and happy home. More often than not, this will involve making a few home adaptations to make life as easy as possible. We’re going to take a look at some of the more simple home adaptations you can make to prevent falls.

What Is Fall Prevention?

Fall prevention is a proactive approach to home safety for those more at risk of injury at home. The elderly and those with disabilities are at the highest risk of falling. This can be for several reasons, including muscle weakness, issues with balance and walking or trouble seeing and hearing.

However, there are also external factors which can put people at higher risk, such as poor lighting, cluttered environments or assistive devices being left around, causing trip hazards.

Some of these hazards are simple to solve by yourself, some fall prevention measures can be done by a handyperson, while others require a professional contractor.

What Risks Do Falls Present?

Falling for anyone is often painful, but for those with more brittle bones and thinner skin, a fall can have more serious outcomes. Common injuries in older adults as a result of a fall include broken bones, hip fractures and head injuries. Unfortunately, broken bones take longer to heal for the elderly.

Another worry is that many older people live alone, and a fall can mean they’re stuck without help for a long time.

Luckily there are a number of measures that can be taken to minimise the risk of falls for those living alone and to ensure that they can feel safe and secure in their home and still utilise and enjoy their space. Read on to find out where you can make improvements to a home.

The Bedroom

Fall prevention often starts in the bedroom, as this is where many falls occur – particularly in the more elderly population.

Here are just a few simple and affordable measures you can take in the bedroom to prevent accidents:

  • Suitable bed height – beds need to be at a height where your feet comfortably reach the floor when sitting in bed. The lower the bed, the less risk of injury if falling from it, but a very low bed can be difficult to get up from. As a general rule, the bed height, including the frame and mattress, should be no higher than the average knee height.
  • No rugs – rugs may feel and look nice, but they are a trip hazard and can also easily slip on a smooth surface.
  • Chairs – it’s a simple solution, but a chair can be helpful for resting or holding on to when moving across the room.
  • Grab rail – for much-needed support getting in and out of bed.
  • Motorised blinds – blinds and curtains often involve reaching, which can be very difficult for those with a reduced level of movement and can lead to falls. Motorised blinds, which come with a remote, are a great solution for removing this risk.

John Ford Group Adaptation Centre

The Bathroom

The bathroom is full of potential hazards that fall prevention can help with. Most slips happen when getting in and out of a shower or bath, or when lowering or raising from the toilet. Helpful home adaptations include:

  • Non-slip mats – an easy and cheap solution to help prevent slipping in the bath or shower and also on the floor.
  • Level access shower – where the bathroom floor is level with the shower floor, making it easier to get in and out of.
  • Grab rails – these can be installed by the toilet (both sides) and bath/shower to make it easier to lower and raise yourself.
  • Shower seat – great for those who are unsteady in the shower but also provides a very comfortable way of showering.
  • Higher toilet seat – to help to sit down and stand up from the loo or commode more easily.



Falls on the stairs are not as common as in other rooms in the house, possibly because we are more aware that care needs to be taken on stairs. However, the resulting injury from a fall on the stairs could be far worse. Fall prevention measures to think about include:

  • Handrails – ensure you have handrails on both sides of stairs for support.
  • Well-fitted carpet – an ill-fitted carpet or flooring heightens the risk of tripping, so make sure there are no lumps or bumps.
  • Sensor lights – making sure steps are well lit at all times helps prevent potentially ‘missing a step’ and falling. Sensors at the top and bottom of stairs provide the perfect solution.
  • No rugs – just to reiterate – rugs are a trip and slip hazard! Placing them at the top or bottom of the stairs is a bad idea.

The Kitchen

The kitchen presents additional dangers, such as boiling pans and hot ovens. It is, therefore, even more important to ensure you’ve covered all bases when it comes to fall prevention alongside the usual kitchen safety rules. Here are a few measures that can help:

Remove any trip hazards –  ensure there’s plenty of room to move around without tripping over tables and chairs.

Easy access to kettle and utensils – place frequently used utensils and cooking equipment in an easy-to-get-to area. Putting the kettle near the sink also reduces the distance you need to carry it and the risk of spilling and creating a slip hazard.

Pull down cupboard shelves – these remove the need to reach up into cupboards, so reduce the risk of falls.

The Rest Of The House

Throughout the rest of the house, you should follow similar rules, starting with keeping the floor clear of clutter, removing any rugs and placing furniture carefully so that it is easy to get around.

As suggested for the bedroom, motorised blinds are great for any room that is in use frequently, so the living room especially. And talking of living rooms, it’s also great to have a place for the TV remote controls, preferably a coffee table or similar, meaning you don’t have to move around too much to find it. There’s nothing worse than getting comfortable in your favourite chair and then finding you have to get up again to venture over the room for the remote!

A Ring Video Doorbell is also a great investment for those with reduced mobility, simply because it gives you the option to answer the door (or not!) without having to leave your chair. This means no wasted trips to the front door for cold callers or unwanted guests!

Finally, if your threshold has a step, ramps into the house are another affordable investment to prevent the risk of tripping up or down the steps into the house.


Feel Confident And Safe In Your Own Space

Fall prevention, in the main part, is simple and inexpensive. We have covered some of the simple measures that can give more confidence in the home. For any larger projects, such as a level access shower or wetroom, we are here to help!

If you’re worried about falls, just get in touch. At John Ford Group, we can help you assess what needs to be done.