Falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults. As we get older, physical changes and health conditions (and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions) can make falls more likely. To reduce the risk of falling, use these simple prevention strategies!
- Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss all the medications and supplements you are currently taking. Your health care provider can review your medications for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling.
- Staying physically active can go a long way toward fall prevention. Activities such as walking or water workouts are gentle exercises and can reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
- Wear properly fitting, sturdy, flat shoes with nonskid soles.
- Reduce potential fall hazards around your home by maintaining clear walkways throughout the home; securing loose rugs with double-sided carpet tape or slip-resistant backing; repairing loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting as soon as possible; using nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower; and immediately cleaning up any spilled liquids, grease or food.
- Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects t and that are hard to see. Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways and make sure to turn on the lights before going up or down the stairs.
- If needed, use assistive devices such as a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices to consider are handrails on both sides of the stairway, raised toilet seat or one with armrests, grab bars for the shower or bathtub, and nonslip treads for bare-wood steps.
For more information on preventing falls, visit the National Institute on Aging at https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/topics/falls-and-falls-prevention.