11 Ways to Prevent Falls
You can do lots of things to avoid falling and breaking a bone. Here are some of them:
- Get rid of clutter, especially on your floors.
- Check your floor coverings. Make sure you have skidproof backing under area rugs, and that carpets are tacked to the floor.
- Make sure your stairs are well lit—and add handrails to both sides.
- Wear supportive, low-heeled shoes around the house—instead of slippery socks or clumsy slippers.
- Remodel your bathroom. Install grab bars on the wall near your tub or shower, and next to your toilet. Place a sturdy rubber bath mat on the bottom of your shower or tub.
- Be careful on highly polished floors—like those in hotels, banks, or in grocery aisles. They can become slick and dangerous, especially when wet.
- Invest in a cordless or cell phone. You'll reduce the need to rush around the house to answer a call, and have fewer wires to trip over.
- Wear rubber-soled shoes that provide good traction, especially when the weather is bad.
- Walk on the grass when sidewalks are slippery.
- Keep a flashlight, loaded with fresh batteries, near your bed to use at night.
- Use a cane or walker if you need extra stability.
Common causes of falls include impaired vision or balance, chronic illnesses that affect mental or physical abilities, and some medications, like sedatives and antidepressants. Get regular health and vision checkups, and talk to your doctor about any concerns you have.
Also, talk to your doctor about picking an exercise routine that's right for you. It can help build strength, improve balance and decrease your risk of falls.