For the Home
- Be sure to have good lighting both inside and outside.
- Use night lights and flashlights.
- Have handrails on both sides of staircases.
- Keep walkways clear of clutter.
- Be sure that all carpets are secure and if possible, do not use throw rugs.
- Have grab bars in bathrooms.
- Use non-slip mats on all wet surfaces.
- Avoid having bed covers that are too long an can be tripped over.
- Have all cords and wires secure.
- Do not put things on shelves that you cannot reach.
- Wipe up wet spills as soon as they occur.
- Have a phone near your bed.
- Keep a cell phone with you as you move about your home.
- Do not try to carry too much at one time.
- Let the phone ring…do not rush to answer.
- Read warnings and side effects of all medications.
- Do not share medications.
- Do not start or stop taking medications without notifying your doctor.
- Over the counter medications can have side effects as well. Be sure to notify your doctor if you are taking over the counter medications as well as herbals and vitamins.
- To avoid confusion, keep all medication stored in the container that it came in.
- Alcohol can interact with medications. It can make you dizzy and lead you to a fall.
Vision and Hearing
- Poor vision can increase your chance of falling.
- Get your eyes checked annually.
- Be cautious if you wear bifocals. They can distort vision while going down stairs.
- Wear your glasses and be sure that they are the correct prescription.
Physical Activity: Exercise is the ONLY risk factor that by itself can dramatically reduce the risk of falls. Before starting any exercise program, be sure to check with your doctor.
- Walk more
- Keep your muscles strong.
- Perform simple exercises.
- Choose something active that you enjoy! Gardening, bowling, golf, walking…anything active that you are motivated to continue doing!
Additional resources for physical activity include:
Matter of Balance
Walk with Ease
Tai Chi: Moving for Better Balance
Go For Life: Lists simple exercises with descriptions and photos.