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Preventing Falls in Older Adults

Table of Contents


Overview

Every year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and loss of independence in people ages 65 and older.

There are many reasons older people fall. They may lose their footing when stepping off a street curb. Or they may fall after getting dizzy from taking medicines. Some falls may be related to the effects of aging, such as muscle weakness or delayed reflexes. Or falls may be related to the results of a stroke.

Experts agree that some falls in older adults can be prevented. But since each person's risks are a bit different, talk to your doctor about what might be most helpful for you.

Taking care of yourself

Preventing falls at home

Preventing falls in the bath

Preparing for falls

Practice getting up from a fall. You can start by gently lowering yourself to the floor. If you're unsteady, have someone with you when you practice. If you're able to get up without help, practice this once a week or enough to feel comfortable.

If you can't get up by yourself, see a physical therapist for help. A physical therapist can work with you to prevent falls and make a plan for what you can do if you do fall.

Take extra care if you live alone

Preventing outdoor falls

These tips can help reduce your risk of falling when you're outdoors.


Credits for Preventing Falls in Older Adults

Current as of: March 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Elizabeth A. Phelan MD, MS - Geriatric Medicine


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