Avoid Becoming a "Fall Statistic"

Begin a regular exercise program. Lack of exercise leads to muscle weakness and a lack of balance. These can increase the chance of falling. Exercises that improve balance and coordination, like Tai Chi, are the most helpful.

Make your home safer.

  • Keep walkways, bedsides and stairs clear of things you could trip over (papers, books, clothes, shoes, etc.).
  • Remove or tape down small throw rugs.
  • Keep often-used items in cabinets you can easily reach without a step stool.
  • Install grab bars in the bathtub, shower, and beside the toilet.
  • Use abrasive strips or non-slip bath mats in your bathtub and shower.
  • Increase the lighting in your home. Use higher watt bulbs where safe or add more lamps.
  • Install handrails along both sides of all stairways.
  • Wear shoes that have good support and have thin, non-slip soles. Avoid slippers without soles or thick, rubber-soled athletic shoes.

Have your doctor review your medications. Some medicines or combination of medicines can make you sleepy, disoriented, or dizzy; conditions that can lead to a fall. The use of over-the-counter drugs such as cold medications can interact with prescription drugs and may cause weakness, dizziness or confusion and increase your chances for a fall.

Have your eyes checked. Changes in eyesight and medical conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts may increase the danger of falling.

Making allowances for physical changes – decreased vision, longer reaction time, decreased physical activity, and decreased bone density – can help protect you from falls. Become pro-active in your lifestyle. Instead of thinking of an assistive device, such a cane or walker, as giving in to "old age," think of it as "insurance" against falls and injuries.

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