Fall Prevention Tips
The risk of falling increases with age, but falls are not inevitable.
To take control of your health and prevent falls:
1. Talk to your doctor or other healthcare provider about your risk for falls, about what you can do to manage your risk, about your medications, and about whether you should take a vitamin D supplement with calcium.
2. Exercise by taking Tai Chi or another form of physical activity to improve strength and balance.
3. Have your eyesight checked every year and update your glasses when needed.
4. Improve the safety of your home by maintaining pathways clear of clutter or loose rugs, installing grab bars in your tub and shower and near the toilet, installing railings on both sides of stairs, and by maintaining good lighting around your house.
5. If you have difficulty keeping your balance while walking, ask your doctor if an assistive device, such as a cane or walker, can benefit you.
6. Participate in workshops like A Matter of Balance to address the fear of falling.
7. Participate in Falls Prevention Day events and activities to increase awareness and learn more about local resources.
More than 75% of falls take place inside or in close proximity to the home, but your home doesn’t have to be an obstacle course of potential falls. Some simple and quick changes will easily help reduce your risk of falling. Watch this Facebook Live video to learn 18 steps to fall proof your home.
A Physical Therapist's Guide to Falls
Did you know that physical therapy led programs can reduce the risk of falls? Physical therapists have a lot to offer regarding falls prevention and risk reduction. They can perform a fall risk screening exam by reviewing your medical history and medications, assessing your functional balance, strength, and range of motion, and by doing a home safety assessment. After the assessment is complete, they will designate interventions which may include strengthening exercises, balance training, therapeutic exercise, pain management, and home modifications.
To locate a physical therapist in your area, check out the American Physical Therapy Association.