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50+: Live Better, Longer

Preventing Harm in Your Own House

Seniors are often one wrong step away from falling in their own homes. To reduce the chance of an accident, follow these tips.
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To minimize your accident risks, stay as physically fit as possible. Movements like tai chi (an ancient Chinese exercise program) improve coordination and balance, and classes are held in many senior citizen centers.

When upgrading your home or apartment with safety features, "Medicare will pay for very little of it," says Bakker. "The Medicare program considers most of these environment retrofits to be non-medical in nature, but rather as 'convenience items.'"

If you need help paying for bathtub grab bars or other improvements, contact the department of aging in your city or county, and ask if you qualify for low-cost or no-cost home-modification services. Also, some fire departments will come to your home to conduct an assessment of possible hazards.

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