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Are You Safe From Falls?

Each year, one in every three adults ages 65 or older falls. While most older adults think it will never happen to them, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among seniors, resulting in two million emergency room visits every year.

But even though your risk of falling increases every decade, falls are not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, you can dramatically reduce your chances of falling, even if you’ve fallen before, by following these simple steps.

How to “Fall Proof” Your Body

• Get some exercise. Lack of exercise can lead to weak legs and an increase in falls.

• Take care with medication. Some medications or combinations of medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness and cause falls.

• Keep your vision sharp. Have your eyes checked every year and wear glasses or contact lenses with the right prescription strength so you can see obstacles in front of you.

How to “Fall Proof” Your Home

• Remove things you can trip over. Remove papers, books, clothes and shoes from stairs or places you walk.

• Install handrails on all staircases.

• Install lights on all staircases with a switch at both the top and bottom.

• Install lights in every room and hallway. Make sure you can turn on a light in every room without having to walk into darkness first. Also, leave a light on at night in between your bed and the toilet.

• Remove small throw rugs and carpets or use double-sided tape to keep them from slipping.

• Avoid using a step stool. Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily.

• Install grab bars in your bathrooms—towel racks don’t count. Put them in the shower, next to the shower or tub and next to your toilet.

• Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.

• Always wear shoes—not slippers-- both inside and outside the house.

Categories: Healthy Living

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