Many falls do not cause injuries, but one out of five falls does cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or a head injury. Here are four tips fall prevention you can do to ensure that you and your home are safe.
Talk openly with your healthcare provider about fall risks & prevention.
Tell a provider right away if you fall, worry about falling, or feel unsteady. Have your doctor or pharmacist review all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and can cause you to fall. Ask your provider about taking vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle, and nerve health.
Exercise to improve your balance and strength.
Exercises that improve balance and make your legs stronger, lower your chances of falling. It also helps you feel better and more confident. An example of this kind of exercise is Tai Chi. Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your chances of falling.
Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
Once a year have your eyes and feet checked.
You may have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. If needed, update your eyeglasses. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling. Also, have your healthcare provider check your feet once a year. Discuss proper footwear and ask whether seeing a foot specialist is advised.
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 rugs 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 and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Improve the lighting 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 installed on all staircases.
- Wear well-fitting shoes with good support inside and outside the house.