Take the right steps to prevent falls

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e-Update from the National Institute on Aging

If you take care of your overall health, you may be able to lower your chances of falling. Most of the time, falls and accidents don't "just happen." Here are a few tips to help you avoid falls and broken bones:

  • Stay physically active. Plan an exercise program that is right for you and that includes all 4 types of exercise: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Performing balance exercises can help prevent falls and reduce the fear of falling. Check out Go4Life for exercise ideas and safety tips.
  • Have your eyes and hearing tested. Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall. Always wear your glasses or contacts when you need them. If you have a hearing aid, be sure it fits well and wear it.
  • Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Get enough sleep. If you are sleepy, you are more likely to fall.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes.
  • Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop and can make you feel wobbly.
  • Use an assistive device if you need help feeling steady when you walk. Appropriate use of canes and walkers can prevent falls. If your doctor tells you to use a cane or walker, make sure it is the right size for you and the wheels roll smoothly.
  • Be very careful when walking on wet or icy surfaces. They can be very slippery! Try to have sand or salt spread on icy areas by your front or back door.
  • Wear non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes with non-skid soles that fully support your feet. It is important that the soles are not too thin or too thick. Don't walk on stairs or floors in socks or in shoes or slippers with smooth soles.
  • Always tell your doctor if you have fallen since your last checkup, even if you aren't hurt when you fall. A fall can alert your doctor to a new medical problem, or problems with your medications or eyesight that can be corrected. Your doctor may suggest physical therapy, a walking aid, or other steps to help prevent future falls.

Check out these balance exercises on Go4Life and try them during Go4Life Month this September!

Share this information with others on social media:

Twitter: #Balance exercises can help with #fallsprevention. Learn how to improve your balance over time: http://bit.ly/2tkKi6p  #Go4LifeMonth

Facebook: How steady do you feel on your feet? Help prevent falls and fall-related injuries by doing balance exercises regularly. Not sure where to start? Check out these recommended exercises from #Go4Life! http://bit.ly/2rwzfpk #Go4LifeMonth