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Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk for a Fall and Fall-Related Injuries

Millions of older adults are treated for fall-related injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Checking your home for common hazards is one way to reduce your chance or becoming part of this statistic. 

Make Your Home Safe

  • Remove books, shoes, and other objects from the floors and stairs. 
  • Keep telephone and electrical cords out of pathways.  
  • Tack rugs and glue vinyl flooring so they lie flat. Remove or replace rugs or runners that tend to slip, or attach nonslip backing. 
  • Ensure that carpets are firmly attached to the stairs. 
  • Do not stand on a chair to reach things. Store frequently used objects where you can reach them easily. If you have to use a step stool, choose one with a bar you can hold. 

Keep a Well-lit Home

  • Have a lamp or switch that you can easily reach without getting out of bed. 
  • Use night lights in the bedroom, bathroom, and hallways.
  • Have light switches at both ends of stairs and halls. Install handrails on both sides of stairs.  
  • Turn on the lights when you go into the house at night. 

Tips for a Safer Bath

  • Add grab bars in the shower, tub, and toilet areas. 
  • Use nonslip adhesive strips or a mat in the shower or tub. 
  • Consider sitting on a bench or stool in the shower. 
  • Consider using an elevated toilet seat.
  • Use care walking.
  • Use helping devices, such as canes, as directed by your health care provider. 
  • Wear nonslip, low-heeled shoes or slippers that fit snugly. Avoid walking in stocking feet. 

And Don't Forget...

  • Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Some drugs, including over-the-counter drugs, can make you drowsy, dizzy, and unsteady.  
  • Have your hearing and eyesight tested. Inner ear problems can affect balance. Vision problems make it difficult to see potential hazards.  
  • Exercise regularly to improve muscle flexibility, strength, and balance. 
  • If you feel dizzy or lightheaded, sit down or stay seated until your head clears. Stand up slowly to avoid unsteadiness.  

Additional Resources

The CDC offers fall prevention tips on their website

This information is intended for educational purposes only. For health, legal, tax, or financial advice, please contact your professional advisors.