Reducing Your Risk of Falling
As you age, your risk of falling becomes greater. This is because of changes in vision and balance, along with other medical and physical conditions. Most people also lose bone density as they age, so the risk of broken bones from falls is a greater concern. Older adults can take steps to lower the risk of falling. Here are ideas:
- Have your vision and hearing checked regularly.
- Know the side effects of medicines. Some may lead to loss of balance and coordination.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Wear rubber-soled and low-heeled shoes that fit properly and support your feet. Don’t wear loose-fitting slippers that could cause you to trip.
- Be careful on wet or icy sidewalks.
- Exercise regularly to stay flexible and keep your bones strong.
Preventing falls at home
Take safety measures at home to reduce your risk of falling as you get older. Take these steps:
- Remove small rugs or use double-sided tape under small rugs to prevent slipping.
- Keep clutter to a minimum. Remove things from walking areas that you could trip over.
- Keep the temperature in your home at a comfortable level. This will keep you from becoming too dizzy from extreme cold or heat.
- Keep frequently used items in reach, so you don't have to rely on a step stool.
- Install handle bars next to toilets and bathtubs or showers.
- Use nonslip mats in bathtubs and showers.
- Improve the lighting in your home.
- Remove electrical cords from the floor in walking areas.
- Install handrails and lights on all staircases.