Falls are a big problem. 1 out of every 3 adults over 65 years old falls each year¹. Falls are also the leading cause of injury, both fatal and non-fatal, in the elderly population². Luckily there are ways to reduce your fall risk.

Ways to prevent falls³:

  • Exercise: This should include strengthening, especially for your legs, balance exercises, flexibility and endurance exercises. There are many levels of exercises and they can be performed everywhere from your bed, chair, or kitchen counter, to a group setting like a Tai Chi class. If you are unsure of where to begin, your local physical therapist can help assess your risk and get your started with an exercise program that will target your weaknesses.
  • Home safety: Remove rugs, cords, and clutter on the floor; install grab bars in bathroom and/or shower; and make sure you have adequate lighting, especially at night.
  • Medications: Have your doctor or pharmacist look over your medications to see if any may be increasing your risk for falls due to side effects.
  • Vision: Have your eyes checked regularly, be aware of depth perception changes depending on type of glasses, i.e. bifocals or trifocals, consider owning two pairs of glasses and choose accordingly depending on the activity you will be performing.

Resources/Additional Reading:

  1. Tromp AM, Pluijm SMF, Smit JH, et al. Fall-risk screening test: a prospective study on predictors for falls in community-dwelling elderly. J Clin Epidemiol 2001;54(8):837–844.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed February 11, 2015.
  3. The Americal Geriatrics Society. AGS/BGS Clinical Practive Guideline: Prevention of Falls in older Persons.http://www.americangeriatrics.org/health_care_professionals/clinical_practice/clinical_guidelines_recommendations/prevention_of_falls_summary_of_recommendations [online]. Accessed February 11, 2015.