Farewell to Falls, a program of the Trauma Center at Stanford, is
working with older adults to help reduce falls. The program works
closely with Stanford Hospital's Aging
Have you fallen recently? Say Farewell to Falls! More
than 1 million older adults in California fall each year, with 200,000
of those falls resulting in injury. And nearly 188 Californians, age
55 and over, are hospitalized every day from slips, trips and falls.
Research now shows that there are things that you can do to prevent
falls and help you to maintain your independence.
Falls can be prevented by:
Exercise Participate in balance, mobility and strength
training programs geared specifically at preventing falls
Medication Review Some side effects or drug
interactions can increase falls
Home Modifications Even minor changes in your home may
prevent the next fall from occurring.
Evaluate your health, your activity level and your home
environment. There are changes you can make today to prevent you
from falling again tomorrow.
The Center for Disease Control states that older adults who have
fallen previously or who stumble frequently are two to three times
more likely to fall within the next year. Take action to help prevent
Tips if Feeling Dizzy or Weak
Make an appointment with your doctor. Your blood pressure or
medications could be contributing to your feelings of
Talk to your doctor about your medication. The number, type
and combination of medications you take can increase your risk of
falling. Don't make changes on your own.
Begin an activity program. With your doctor's permission,
regular walks or participation in an exercise program can increase
your strength and mobility.
Take your time getting up after sitting, lying down or
Tips to Avoid Tripping or Slipping
Check your home for hazards. Throw rugs should be removed or
adhered to the floor with double-sided tape or special carpet
Remove electrical cords and other hazards.
Pick up animal toys and clutter off the floor.
Don't lean on towel bars or furniture for support. Consider
installing grab bars in the bathtub and by the toilet.
Use handrails on all stairs.
Wear non-skid shoes or slippers. Keep floors dry.
Install non-skid surfaces in the shower or tub.
Check your patio and yard for uneven pavement and other
Tips to Improve Balance
Carry a smaller load. Your balance may not be as good as it
was when you were younger.
Rearrange your cabinets and closets so that your items are closer
Tips if Having Vision Trouble or Vision Loss
Have your vision checked regularly.
throughout your house and use nightlights.
Other Safety Tips
Keep emergency numbers near each phone.
phones so that you don't trip on cords.
subscribing to a service such as Lifeline or others that will bring
help in case you fall and can't get up.
If you've had
multiple falls or have severe osteoporosis, consider wearing hip.
protectors. They've been shown to be effective in preventing hip
fractures from falls.
For further information on programs and resources,