How to Prevent Falls for Older Adults

Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injury in the home. The Skokie Fire Department urges older adults to follow these simple fall prevention tips to keep you on your feet:
  • Exercise regularly. This will help your bones stay strong. Never start an exercise program before checking with your doctor.
  • Take your time. Think before you make a move. Get out of chairs and bed slowly. Sit; get your balance before you stand up.
  • Keep stairs and hallways clear. Remove all clutter from stairs and walking areas. Discard any unused or unwanted items to avoid excessive accumulation.
  • Keep an eye on your eyesight. See an eye doctor once a year. Poor vision can greatly increase your chance of falling. Make sure your home lighting is adequate. Use night lights and always turn lights on before going up and down stairs (remember to use the handrails).
  • Use grab bars. Have grab bars installed in your bathroom. Use them on the wall next to a bathtub, shower, and toilet (use non-slip mats inside the tub and shower). Avoid spills by wiping them up as soon as they occur.
  • Don't be thrown by your rugs. Use only throw rugs with non-skid backing. Look out for folds in your carpeting. If necessary, have it re-stretched to avoid falls.
  • Check stairway treads. Stairways need to be well lit. Have an easy to grip handrail the full length of the stairway (on both sides), and use it every time you use the stairs.
  • Take care of your feet. Wear low heeled, sturdy shoes with non-slip soles. Be careful when wearing athletic shoes, slippers, or stocking feet. See a Podiatrist if issues arise.