Published on September 19, 2012

Tips to Help You Avoid A Fall-Related Injury

AMES, IA – In recognition of National Falls Awareness Day on Saturday, Sept. 22, Mary Greeley Medical Center offers several tips to help you avoid being injured in a fall.

Falls are the leading cause of injury death in older adults. Over 19,000 older adults died from unintentional fall injuries in 2008. Falls also can be an indication of a serious health issue. Many falls, however, typically occur at home and are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook, but are also easy to fix.

Here are some easy-to-follow ideas that can help you avoid a fall and help make your home a fall-free zone:

  • If able, exercise regularly. Exercise makes you stronger and improves your balance and coordination.
  • Have your doctor look at all the medicines you take. Some of them can make you sleepy or dizzy.
  • Have your vision checked at least once a year. Poor vision can increase your risk of falling.
  • Improve the lighting in your home by putting in brighter light bulbs and make sure to add lighting to dark areas.
  • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house.
  • Always keep objects off the floor and make sure that you have clear cut walking paths around your house.
  • Remove rugs or use double-sided tape to secure them so that rugs won’t slip.
  • Keep objects off of the stairs and make sure that the carpet is firmly attached to each step.
  • Fix loose handrails. Make sure handrails are on both sides of the stairs and are as long as the stairs.
  • If you only have one light switch for your stairs, have an electrician install switches at both the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Keep things you use often on lower shelves. If you must use a step stool, get one that has a bar to hold onto.
  • Put a non-slip rubber mat or self-stick strips on the floor of the tub or shower, along with grab bars inside the tub and next to the toilet.