As we age, our mobility can become more limited due to declining strength, orthopedic injuries, or medication effects. Before an accident happens at home, take a look around to address any hazards that could cause someone with limited mobility to trip and fall.

Unstable Flooring

The flooring itself can often be a hazard. Look for carpet wrinkles that need to be smoothed out or torn carpet that needs to be fixed. Carpeting is especially difficult for those in wheelchairs to navigate. If you have someone in a wheelchair in your home, you may want to have carpets in frequently used rooms converted to laminate, hardwood, or tile.

A loose floorboard or chipped tile in an uncarpeted area could also cause problems for an elderly person. They could be a tripping hazard even for those with mobility devices. Warped hardwood floors or uneven steps should also be repaired or avoided.

Remove unneeded accent rugs or throw rugs that might be a tripping hazard for someone who is not always steady on their feet. Finally, you might want to install a handrail in hallways or rooms where a senior family member frequently walks.

Exposed Wires and Cords

Check for dangling wires and cords from everyday appliances like the television, computer, or lamps. Move them out of the way so that an older family member won't get a shoe tangled in them. Hanging draperies, a long tablecloth, or an unmade quilt that hangs over the bed could also become a tripping hazard, especially for people with limited vision. Examine each room from your senior loved one's perspective to find anything that is draped or hanging in the way of a clear path through the home.


Bathtubs can be a dangerous slipping hazard for anyone, but they are particularly dangerous for seniors. The walls of the tub are difficult to step over, and they are often too low for seniors to be able to comfortably lower themselves into and rise out of. In addition, the slightly sloped floors, which are necessary for proper draining, are slippery.

You can overcome some of these issues with a tub-to-shower conversion. The low lip is much easier for seniors to step over, making it safer for them to bathe themselves. You might also include a bench that they can sit on while they wash. The height of this bench is much easier to sit down on and stand up from than the floor of a bathtub, and it allows them to conserve energy rather than having to stand.

Excessive Clutter

Clear away unneeded items from rooms and spaces frequented by a senior member of the household. Make sure the kids' toys and pets' playthings are put away to prevent a fall. Magazines with glossy covers and pages laying on the floor can be slippery if stepped on. Shoes should be kept in a specified location, like near the door or in the closet, to keep them out of the way.

A few simple adjustments to the residence can make it safer for elderly loved ones to navigate. Keep your family members safe by preventing falls. Remove potential obstacles, make risky areas safer, and replace or repair broken or damaged flooring.

Author's Bio: 

Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business, and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.