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20 Ways to Prevent Falls

Each year, one-third of Americans aged 65+ fall. These falls can lead to a significant reduction of seniors' independence and mobility and can even cause depression.

Help keep yourself and your loved one safe with our list of 20 fall prevention tips.

  1. Wear sensible, well-fitted shoes with non-skid soles and adequate support.

  2. Use assistance devices such as wheelchairs, walker and canes, and replace worn or loose parts, such as rubber tips.

  3. Consider using a "device" to help obtain items out of your reach. Follow recommendations for safe use.

  4. Keep unnecessary items off the floor, such as papers, books, magazines, shoes, blankets or other items that may hinder you from maneuvering safely.

  5. Keep floors dry and clean up spills when they occur.

  6. Arrange furniture in a manner that provides clear pathways.

  7. Ask your doctor what type of exercises you can safely perform to maintain strength, flexibility, mobility and balance, then practice them.

  8. Review your medications regularly with your doctor or pharmacist to stay educated on any side effects, which may make you drowsy or light-headed and affect your balance.

  9. Have your vision and glasses checked at least once per year, as poor vision can increase your chance of falling.

  10. Have your hearing tested regularly, as inner ear problems may affect your balance.

  11. Increase lighting in your home by suing the highest wattage recommended for that fixture.

  12. For adequate lighting, keep a lamp by the bed and a flashlight handy.

  13. To see stairs better at night, use reflective tape at the bottom and top.

  14. Use handrails to steady your balance and install handrails on staircases if needed. Fix or replace loose or broken handrails.

  15. Apply non-skid treads to each bare floor step.

  16. To prevent tripping, tape torn carpet and/or tack down loose edges.

  17. Remove throw rugs or secure them firmly with double-faced tape, tacks or slip-resistant backing.

  18. Consider using a raised toilet seat with armrests.

  19. For safe bathing, utilize a shower chair or tub bench and install grab bars on bathroom walls.

  20. Use a non-skid mat or non-skid strips in the bathtub or shower.

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