13 Ways to Prevent Falls in the Hospital

When you're in the hospital, your risk of falling may be higher than normal. Medicines can make you dizzy. Or illness and treatments may cause you to feel weak and confused, making it harder to move around. But there are ways you can prevent falls during your stay.

Things you can do to prevent a fall at the hospital

  • Bring nonskid socks, slippers, or shoes that stay on your feet. If you do not have these, ask the nurse for a pair of nonskid socks.

  • Bring your walker or cane, if you use one at home. Or ask the hospital to provide one during your stay.

  • Ask your doctor or nurse if your treatments or medicines will increase your risk of a fall. Some hospitals will check your risk when you are admitted to the hospital.

  • Tell your doctor or nurse if medicines make you dizzy, weak, or lightheaded. If you feel this way, do not try to get up on your own. Call the nurse for help.

  • Call the nurse for help getting out of bed if you are on crutches or have trouble walking. Do not try to do it on your own until the nurse says it's ok and you feel sure you are able.

  • When your nurse says it's ok, get up slowly. Sit up first and count to 10 before you get out of bed.

  • Put on your eyeglasses before you get out of bed, if you wear them.

  • If you need help getting to the bathroom, call the nurse before you have an urgent need to go. If you get fluids through a vein (IV), you may need to go to the bathroom more often.

Things the hospital staff can do to prevent a fall

  • Keep needed items close by. Your phone, the nurse call light or button, and anything you need to help you walk should be close to you.

  • Keep your bed low and locked. Your bed should be low enough so that you don't have problems getting out of bed. The wheels on your bed should be locked so the bed can't move.

  • Explain what is safe. Your nurse or doctor will tell you what you can safely do and how often you need to get up and move around.

  • Keep your room neat. Your room should not have any wet or slippery areas. There should be nothing in the way of going to the bathroom or hallway.

  • Light up the room. Your room should have good lighting. Make sure there is a night light in your bathroom.