You can make small changes to help prevent falls. More than 1 in 3 older adults will fall each year. Falling can lead to broken bones, trouble getting around, and other health problems, especially if you are over age 64.
A fracture (broken bone) can cause pain and disability. It can also make it hard to do everyday activities, like cooking a meal, without help. Hip fractures are a major cause of health problems and death among older adults.
You don’t have to be afraid of falling. Take these steps to prevent falls:
- Exercise to improve your balance and leg strength.
- Ask your doctor to review your medicines. Some medicines can make you dizzy or sleepy.
- Have your vision checked at least every 1 to 2 years. Update your glasses or contact lenses when your vision changes.
- Make your home safer by fixing possible dangers. For example, add stair railings and move cords you could trip over.
Am I at risk?
As people age, poor balance and weak muscles can lead to falls and fractures. Older adults usually fall during everyday activities, like walking or turning.
Some older adults also have vision problems or other medical conditions that can make a fall more likely. For example, a stroke can affect your balance and make you more likely to fall.
You may be more likely to fall if you:
- Have fallen in the past year
- Have a health condition that makes it hard to walk or affects your balance, like diabetes or heart disease
- Have trouble getting up from a chair or stepping up onto a curb
- Take medicines to help you relax or sleep
If you are worried about falling, talk to your doctor or nurse about how balance exercises, physical therapy, and vitamin D supplements can help.
Get the facts on falls and fractures.