Preventing Falls

FOUR THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT FALLS

  1. Begin a Regular Exercise Program
    Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower you chances of falling. It makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling. Ask your doctor or health care provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
  2. Have your health care provider review your medicines
    Have your doctor or pharmacists review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Sometimes medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall.
  3. Have your vision checked
    Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. You may be wearing the wrong glases or have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
  4. Make your home safer

    About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer:

    • Remove things you can trip over (like papers,books,clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
    • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rug from slipping
    • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
    • Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
    • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
    • Improve the lightning in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well.
    • Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
    • Have handrails and lights put in on all staircases.
    • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.

Many falls can be prevented. By making some changes, you can lower the chances of falling.

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