Exercise will strengthen your muscles and improve your balance to prevent falls. Removing loose rugs and adding handrails to stairs and hallways will help to make your home safer. Also, make sure dark areas are well lit to prevent tripping. Falls are not a normal part of life at any age. You can take steps to prevent falls, and your doctor or health care provider can talk with you about changes that may be helpful to you.
Additional Fall Prevention Tips
- A medical alarm or personal alert emergency response system ensures that an older adult who falls at home is not without help.
- Each room of the house should be kept free of fall hazards. Extension cords should be hidden away and kept out of pathways. All carpeting should be tacked firmly to the ground or at least use a skid proof packing.
* Bedroom: Keep lights close to the bed so that there is no danger of stumbling around in the dark. Slippers should be comfortable with low heels and non-skid soles.
* Bathroom: Grab bars in the bathtub and a raised toilet seat with arm rails reduce falls associated with everyday bathroom activity. Avoid rugs on the bathroom floor, as they may slip and cause someone to fall.
* Kitchen: Utensils and food that are most often used should be kept in easy-to-reach cabinets that require minimal reaching or crouching.
- Outdoor terrain can be unpredictable and unsteady. The use of a cane makes it easier to navigate cracked or uneven sidewalks.
- Older adults who consciously work to improve their balance reduce their risk of falls. For activities and balance exercises, read our Balance Issues tip sheet.
- Any senior citizen on medication should also be aware of the effect that medications have on coordination or balance. If there is a conflict, talk to your doctor to determine if that medication is still the best fit.
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