Steps to take to prevent falls:
- Stay physically active. Using an exercise program that is right for you can help make you stronger and more flexible.
- Have your eyes and hearing tested. Small changes in your hearing and eyesight can cause you to fall. If you have glasses or a hearing aid, make sure they fit well and you wear them.
- Check with your doctor about any side effects of medicine you take. Some medications can make you sleepy or dizzy. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have these symptoms.
- Get plenty of sleep. Being sleepy makes you more likely to fall.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink. Drinking alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes.
- Stand up slowly. Getting up quickly after you’ve been sitting or lying down can make your blood pressure drop causing you to feel wobbly.
- Use an assistive device if you need to. Using Canes and walkers can prevent falls. If your doctor tells you to use a cane or walker, make sure it is the right size for you.
- Watch out for wet or icy surfaces. Slippery surfaces can be dangerous. Make sure to spread salt by your front or back door in the winter.
- Wear shoes with non-skid soles. Using shoes with non-skid soles and good support can help prevent falls. Walking on floors or stairs with socks or slipper or shoes with smooth soles can cause you to slip and fall.
If you do fall talk to your doctor about it at your next checkup. Even if you didn’t get hurt, you should talk to your doctor about it. Your doctor can look in to whether your medications, a new health condition, or a change in your sight or hearing may have been the cause. They may suggest exercise, physical therapy, a walking aid, or other steps to help you prevent future falls.
Want a step-by-step list to check for safety in your home? A home fall prevention checklist can be found at https://www.ncoa.org/wp-content/uploads/cksafety.pdf