Simple Steps to Prevent Falls

Simple Steps to Prevent Falls

It’s estimated that one in four adults over the age of 65 will fall every year. Falls may result in broken bones, hospitalization and even death. Not only can falls cause physical injuries, but victims of falls often lose their sense of confidence and may become less independent for fear of falling again. Falls among older adults are a serious problem, but the good news is falls can be prevented. Here are simple steps to help reduce your risk of falling.

  1. Speak Up. Talk openly with your health care provider about fall risks and prevention. Tell them if you have fallen or if you are afraid you might fall. As a reminder, always bring your prescription and over-the-counter medications to each doctor visit for review.
  2. Keep Moving. Exercise is a very important way to reduce the risk of falling. Activities that strengthen your legs and help your balance are the most beneficial to prevent falls and keep you independent longer. Have a discussion with your provider to determine the best exercise program for you.
  3. Check Your Eyes. Have your vision checked once a year and update your prescription eyewear as needed. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
  4. Home Safety Check. Many falls are due to hazards that are easy to overlook but can be fixed easily. This checklist will help you find and fix possible hazards in your home.
    • Keeps objects (like papers, books, clothes, shoes, etc.) off stairs and places you walk to avoid tripping.
    • Remove throw rugs or use tape to secure rugs to keep them from slipping.
    • Place a lamp close to the bed where it’s easy to reach.
    • Place grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
    • Place a non-slip rubber mat in the tub or shower.
    • Improve the lighting in your home. Ensure all areas are brightly lit, including stairways.
    • Fix loose handrails or put in new rails that extend the entire length of the stairs.
    • Wear shoes with a non-slip tread both inside and outside the house.

Want to learn more about falls prevention? Consider attending a local Stepping On workshop. Visit wihealthyaging.org/workshops or call the Wisconsin Institute for Healthy Aging at 608-243-5690.


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