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Health > Senior health > Preventing falls

Preventing Falls

One of the most common ways that older adults get injured is through falls. Falls can happen anywhere, indoors or out. Falls can injure anyone, but they can be particularly dangerous for older adults. This is because the bones become less dense every year and become easier to break. Hip fractures for example happen to about 200,000 older adults every year.

It is important to take steps to reduce your risk of falling. Here are some important tips:

  • Increase the lighting in your home, inside and out
  • Get new eyeglasses on a regular basis, and never wear someone else's glasses
  • Use nonskid treads on staircases
  • Use a cane or walker if your balance is unsteady
  • Install rails in bathtubs and next to toilets and staircases
  • Use nonskid strips in the bathtub or shower
  • Get rid of any throw rugs and keep carpets in good repair
  • Wash floors with a nonslippery product and skip the wax
  • Wear shoes with nonskid soles
  • Limit your alcohol consumption
  • Be very careful when you start a new prescription, following your healthcare provider's instructions exactly
  • Exercise regularly
  • Never climb a ladder by yourself
  • Be especially careful if you have pets, which might trip you or push you down even when playing.
  • Good lighting is the most important of these. Make sure all stairways have lights that can be turned on from the top and the bottom. Never go down dark stairs. Keep flashlights in several areas for emergencies.

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