Help Your Loved One Prevent Falls

Preventing FallsFalls are a major concern for older adults—and with good reason. One quarter of older Americans fall each year. And slips and spills are the leading cause of injury in those ages 65 and older, causing broken bones and head injuries.

You can help your loved one stay safe by following a few simple steps:

  • Assess the home for safety. Make sure all stairs are well-lit and have two handrails. Tack throw rugs to the floor or make sure they have skid-proof backs. Install grab bars in the bathroom near the tub and toilet, where your loved one can reach them.
  • Review medicines. Some medicines can increase the risk for falls by causing dizziness, drowsiness, or dehydration. If your loved one is taking a medicine that has side effects, encourage him or her to talk with his or her doctor.
  • Keep up on eye health. Poor vision is a leading cause of falls. Take your loved one for a yearly eye exam to check vision and update any prescriptions for glasses. If he or she wears bifocals, use extra caution on stairs.
  • Get extra help for walking. If your loved one has trouble with walking, a physical therapist can create an exercise plan to help build strength and balance. If necessary, he or she can also recommend a walker or cane and show your loved one how to properly use it. 

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