Published on April 09, 2012

5 tips for preventing falls

Falls among adults over age 65 are a big problem.

balance ballAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three of these adults falls each year in the U.S. And these falls can cause moderate to severe injury, such as hip fracture and head trauma. But falls are often preventable. Here are some ways to stay standing strong:

1. Exercise and Diet

Having weak legs or poor balance puts you at high risk for falls. Keeping your bones healthy with weight-bearing exercise and healthy eating can help, and also reduce your risk of fracture if you do fall. Go for a walk each day. Check for low-cost exercise classes for seniors at your local hospital or community center. If you cannot walk or stand well, your doctor may be able to refer you to programs that can build your strength safely as well as offer tips on healthy eating.

2. Know Your Medications

Tell your doctor if your medications make you dizzy or drowsy. Sometimes it’s a combination of medications that causes balance problems. Your doctor might be able to change the problem medications.

3. Check Your Vision

It is hard to get around safely if you can’t see well. Visit your eye doctor every year. Make sure your glasses or contact lenses are the right strength.

4. Keep Your Home Safe

Clutter, poor lighting or small area rugs can cause falls. Use non-slip mats in your bathroom. Use curtains or shades to reduce glare. Use brighter light bulbs or more lights. Keep the things you use most in your kitchen within easy reach. Have grab bars installed in your bathroom and handrails on
your stairs.

5. Wear Good Shoes

Wear sturdy shoes, even when you are at home. Make sure they have non-slip soles. Sneakers are a good choice. Don’t go barefoot or wear slippers.