Preventing Falls

Anyone can fall. However, the risk of falling becomes greater as people age and the potential for serious injury increases. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths and the most common cause of injuries and hospital admissions among adults aged 65 and older. Many falls can be prevented and YOU can greatly reduce your risk of falling by doing a few simple things:

1. Begin a regular exercise program.
Exercise is one of the most important ways to reduce your chances of falling. Ask your doctor or health care worker about the best type of exercise program for you. Exercise makes you stronger and helps you feel better. Exercises that improve balance and coordination (like Tai Chi) are most helpful.
2. Be safe in your home.
Each year, 11 million senior citizens fall - that's one out of every three people over the age of 65. Falls are the second leading cause of injury death for people ages 55-79 and become even more prevalent for individuals over the age of 80. When combined, falls account for more than 50 percent of all injury deaths.

Take a few minutes to evaluate your home today and make any alterations or changes:

Bathroom:

Kitchen:

Bedroom:

Outdoor Home Safety Measures:

All Areas:

Other Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Risk Of A Fall:

3. Have your doctor or health care provider review your medicines.
Have your doctor, pharmacist or health care provider review all the medicines you take (including over-the-counter medications and supplements) and discuss any potential side effects or interactions. Follow medication dosages closely. Using multiple medications and/or using medications incorrectly may cause dizziness, weakness and other side effects which can lead to a dangerous fall.
4. Have your vision checked.
Have your eyes checked regularly by an eye doctor. You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision. Poor vision can increase your chances of falling.
FOUR things YOU can do to prevent falls:
  1. Begin a regular exercise program
  2. Make your home safer
  3. Have your health care provider review your medicines
  4. Have your vision checked

The good news - falls are preventable. Take a few minutes and conduct a safety audit of your home and implement some of the practical and cost-effective suggestions outlined for you or contact the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service for a free home safety evaluation at 240-777-2476.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/ncipc