What YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls
Four things YOU can do to prevent falls:
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) Have your eyes and feet checked.
- Once a year, check with your eye doctor, and update your eyeglasses, if
needed. You may have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits
your vision. 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.
3) 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.
Many falls can be prevented.
By making some changes, you can lower your chances of falling. Four things
YOU can do to prevent falls:
- Have your healthcare provider review your medicines.
- Exercise to improve your balance and strength.
- Have your eyes and feet checked.
- Make your home safer.
For more information, contact Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1-(800)-CDC-INFO (232-4636) or visit www.cdc.gov/steadi For information
about fall prevention, visit go.usa.gov/xN9XA For more information about
hypotension, visit www.mayoclinic.com www.webmd.com