Are you at risk of falling? 

Risk factors

Age: If you are 65+

Medication: Some medications can make you feel dizzy.

Health Conditions: Certain eye and ear disorders, joint pain, or unsteady gait.

Home Hazards: Electrical cords on the floor, untidy home with spilled liquids, grease, food, or inadequate lighting.

Mental Status: If you are confused or don’t understand your limitations.

Medications that can cause falls:

  • Antidepressants 
  • Opioid (narcotic) analgesics 
  • Diuretics 
  • Antihypertensives 
  • Antidiabetics
  • Anticholinergics 
  • Anticonvulsants/Mood-stabilizer
  • Antipsychotics
  • Benzodiazepines 
  • Non-benzodiazepine prescription sedatives

Fall Complications 

  • Long hospital stays and increased medical costs
  • Hip fracture 
  • Cut wounds 
  • Brain injury 
  • Chances of falling again are doubled
  • Feelings of fear and social isolation are increased after a fall

Many falls can be prevented 

By making some changes, you can lower your chances of falling. Things you can do to prevent falls: 

Have your healthcare provider review your medicine 

Tell a provider right away if you fall, worry about falling, or feel unsteady. Have your doctor review all medicines. As you get older, the way medicines work in your body can change.

Exercise to improve your balance and strength 

  • Exercises that improve balance and make your legs stronger lower your chances of falling.
  • A lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases the chances of falling. 
  • Ask your doctor about the best type of exercise program for you. 

Have your eyes and balance checked

  • Once a year, do an eye check-up and update your eyeglasses if needed.
  • You may have a condition like glaucoma or cataract that limits vision causing you to fall.
  • The vestibular system (the organ of balance) is found inside the inner ear, so you should have your ear health checked by an ear specialist regularly.
  • Have your healthcare provider check your feet and discuss proper footwear if needed.

Make your home safer by eliminating hazards that can cause you to trip.

  • Remove things you can trip over (boxes, electrical cords, etc.). 
  • Immediately clean up spilled liquids, grease, or food.
  • Use non-slip mats in your bathtub or shower and in the place of ablution (if needed). 
  • Use a bath seat, which allows you to sit while showering. 
  • Use a raised toilet seat (or one with armrests). 
  • Have grab bars in the shower/tub.
  • Keep your home brightly lit. 
  • Wear non-slippery shoes/socks. 
  • Be careful when using the stairs. Even with precautions such as guardrails, stairs still present a significant fall hazard. If possible, live in a one-floor home. 
  • Even with precautions, falls may still occur. Keep a phone that you can reach from the ground in case you fall and can’t get back up.
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