Four things YOU can do to prevent falls:
- BEGIN A REGULAR EXERCISE PROGRAM
- Exercise is one of the most important ways to lower your chances
of falling. It
makes you stronger
and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve
balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are the most helpful. Lack of exercise
leads to weakness and increases
your chances of falling. Ask your doctor or health care provider
about the best type of exercise program for you.
- HAVE YOUR HEALTH CARE PROVIDER REVIEW YOUR MEDICINES
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review
all the medications you take, including over the counter
medications. As you get older,
the way medications work in your body can change. Some medicines or combinations of medicines may cause sleepiness,
or dizziness, which could lead to a fall.
- HAVE YOUR VISION CHECKED
- Have your eyes checked
by an eye doctor at least once a year. You may be wearing the wrong glasses
or have a
condition like glaucoma,
or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
- MAKE YOUR HOME SAFER
- About half of all falls happen
in the home. To make your home safer:
- Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books,
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 your toilet and in the tub or shower.
- 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 lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Have handrails and lights put in on all staircases.
- Wear shoes both inside
and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.