Falls Among Older Adults
Each year, one in every three adults age 65 and older falls. Falls can cause moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Fortunately, falls are a public health problem that is largely preventable.
How can I prevent falls?
As an older adult, you can remain independent and reduce your chances of falling. You can:
To lower your hip fracture risk, you can:
|Exercise regularly. Exercise makes you stronger and improves your balance and coordination. |
Avoid drowsy medications. Have your doctor or pharmacist look at all the medicines you take, even over-the-counter medicines. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy.
Have your vision checked at least once a year by an eye doctor. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling.
Get up slowly after you sit or lie down.
Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
Improve the lighting in your home. Put in brighter bulbs. Florescent bulbs are bright and cost less to use. Have uniform lighting in a room. Add light to dark areas. Hang lightweight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
Make your stairs safer. Paint a contrasting color on the top edge of all steps so you can see the stairs better. For example, use a light-colored paint on dark wood.
- Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or supplements.
- Do weight-bearing exercise.
- Get screened and treated for osteoporosis.
Find out more about how you can prevent falls among older adults with the"Check for Safety - A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults", brought to you by the Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC.