Make these changes to reduce the risk of falling

older adult after fallFalls are not only painful but can also lead to ongoing complications and difficulties. It is important to know if you are at risk of falling and what you can do to prevent them.

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in older adults. However, falling is not confined to older adults. People using certain medications – such as tranquilizers, sedatives or antidepressants – and people with vision and pain problems are also at risk of falls.

You can make changes to help reduce the risk of falling for your and others in your home.

Improve Your Environment

Your environment is an important factor in keeping you steady and safe.

  • Remove tripping hazards. Keep walkways and stairs free of clutter and remove loose rugs.
  • Install lights. Maintain good visibility of where you are walking with motion-sensor lighting.
  • Install handrails and grab bars. These can help you maintain balance in fall risk areas like stairs and bathrooms.

Improve Your Balance

Balance exercises can help to improve your coordination and strength. Try this gentle workout after consulting with your doctor.

  • Knee squats. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands at your hips, and bend your knees to create a 90-angle degree. Slowly rise up again. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you feel comfortable.
  • Toe stands. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the back of a chair for stability. Slowly push up as far as you can onto the balls of your feet, holding your weight on the front of your feet and count to 5. Slowly lower your heels to the floor. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you feel comfortable.
  • One leg balance. Start by standing. Lift one leg off the floor and bend it back at the knee, towards your butt. Hold your foot with your hand to help if you need it. Slowly lower your leg and repeat with your other leg. Repeat 10 times or as many times as you feel comfortable.

​In Case of a Fall

If a person is not walking normally after a fall or an area that was injured is too painful to touch, this may indicate a fracture and they need to be seen by a doctor. If they were knocked unconscious by the fall, or there is concern for a neck injury, call 911 immediately, and do not attempt to move that person.