Portfolio Naples August/September 2017 - Page 71

Making your home safe and taking preventative steps to minimize fall related injuries is one of the best investments you can make. Many of the tips we share with customers are simple and inexpensive. At Sunshine we offer a Home Audit Checklist specifically designed for the Step Smart organization. In it, you can find over 40 helpful tips to make your home safer and minimize fall hazards. Here are several suggested steps that go a long way in making your home safer: • SSC Supporting Partners exhibits • • • • • • SSC Team: Left to Right: Laurie Bellico, Treasurer-Jean Hartman, Volunteer- Barbara Dameron, Volunteer-Doug Hartman, SSC President SSC Supporting Partners exhibits Senior guests joining in Tai Chi Installing night lights around the house to improve visibility at night. As simple as it sounds, one of the common causes of falls is getting up at night and not seeing trip hazards. Installing threshold floor reducers. Buying and using a proper step ladder with side bars you can grab onto for stability. Installing non slip mats in bathrooms, tubs, showers, and other slick surface areas. Using double stick tape, grippers, and nonskid rug liners for area rugs and carpets. Installing LED lights in recessed lighting in the home to elimi nate the need to use a step ladder to replace bulbs for up to 20 years. Installing grab bars in your shower or bath or near the toilet. Sometimes the most important steps are the simplest. It’s also impor- tant to remember that falls are not an inevitable part of aging! Keep in mind that Lee County made a similar effort to promote community awareness and education around this problem. ey began that cam- paign back in 2008, and they were successful. While Collier County rates of fall related injuries have steadily increased over the last 8 years, theirs have decreased by over 22%. Not only have they eliminated the growth but have reduced the # of incidents by over 20%. We have that same opportunity in Collier County. Step Smart Collier is one more example of how our community con- tinuously “steps” up and joins hands to tackle serious problems. e nu- merous volunteers and organizations dedicated to this cause have the noblest of outcomes - improving our quality of life and saving lives. Don’t be a victim. Don’t let your loved one suffer when so much can be done to prevent a fall. Be determined to educate yourself and take action. Visit the Step Smart Collier website http://www.stepsmartcollier.org to learn more. ere you can discover upcoming educational seminars. You can also request a speaker for your next event or association meeting. Learn more and help make a difference. Improving the safety of your home is important but is only one of many contributing factors to fall preven- tion. e website and seminars will help educate you on the many resources avail- able to keep you and your family safe. www.stepsmartcollier.org PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 69