To mark April Falls Month, Whanganui District Health Board is urging residents to ask themselves how safe their home is - given that many things we look at every day could be potential hazards that lead to a fall.
The DHB's director of nursing and patient safety and quality general manager, Sandy Blake, says although the risk of falling increases with age, "the good news is – we can all do something about it".
"I suggest sit down with a family member or friend and go through the easy room-by-room checklist of your home and garden which ACC have produced," Mrs Blake says.
"You will find it on the ACC website by going to https://www.acc.co.nz/assets/injury-prevention/acc5218-how-safe-your-home.pdf."
Mrs Blake says to remember to make a note of anything that might need to be fixed or changed.
"If you're still unsure about what needs to be done, ask family, friends or your health professional for advice."
The checklist asks questions such as:
Do your carpets or rugs lie flat, without frayed corners or rolled up edges?
Are your rugs non-slip (with a rubber back) or secured to the floor?
Is the furniture arranged to provide clear walkways?
Are all your walkways clear of clutter (e.g. newspapers, boxes, shoes)?
Are electrical cords and wires kept away from walkways or taped down?
Is your lounge chair easy to get out of?
Can you reach the telephone easily from your lounge chair?
For more information on keeping your home safe, call 0800 101 996 or visit www.acc.co.nz.