Fall Prevention

Falls often occur due to slipping, tripping or losing your balance. Millions of people fall every year and injure themselves. Here are ways to reduce your risk of falling again.

  • Think about your fall, was there anything that caused your fall that can be fixed, removed, or replaced?

  • Make your home safe by keeping walkways clear of objects you may trip over, such as electric cords.

  • Use non-slip pads under rugs. Don't use area rugs or small throw rugs.

  • Use non-slip mats in bathtubs and showers.

  • Install handrails and lights on staircases. The handrails should be on both sides of the stairs.

  • Don't walk in poorly lit areas.

  • Don't stand on chairs or wobbly ladders.

  • Use caution when reaching overhead or looking upward. This position can cause a loss of balance.

  • Be sure your shoes fit properly, have non-slip bottoms and are in good condition. 

  • Wear shoes both inside and out. Don't go barefoot or wear slippers.

  • Be cautious when going up and down stairs, curbs, and when walking on uneven sidewalks.

  • If your balance is poor, consider using a cane or walker.

  • If your fall was related to alcohol use, stop or limit alcohol intake. 

  • If your fall was related to use of sleeping medicines, talk to your healthcare provider about this. You may need to reduce your dosage at bedtime if you awaken during the night to go to the bathroom.  

  • To reduce the need for nighttime bathroom trips:

    • Don't drink fluids for several hours before going to bed

    • Empty your bladder before going to bed

    • Men can keep a urinal at the bedside

  • Stay as active as you can. Balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance all come from exercise. They all play a role in preventing falls. Ask your healthcare provider which types of activity are right for you.

  • Get your vision checked on a regular basis.

  • If you have pets, know where they are before you stand up or walk so you don't trip over them.

  • Use night lights.

  • Go over all your medicines with a pharmacist or other healthcare provider to see if any of them could make you more likely to fall.

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