LECOM Health Visiting Nurse Association of Erie County

Fall Prevention on the First Day of Fall!

falls-prevention-facebbok-vna-graphic

 

What YOU Can Do to Prevent Falls

Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause for nonfatal injuries.  More than one third of adults aged 65 and older fall each year. Falls can be prevented.  Making changes can lower your risk for falling.

 

Four things YOU can do to prevent falls

  1. Begin a regular exercise program
  2. Have a health care provider review your medications
  3. Have your vision checked
  4. Make your home safer

 

Begin a regular exercise program

Exercise makes your stronger, improves your balance, and makes you feel better.  Exercise is one of the most important ways to reduce your risk for falling.  Exercises that improve balance and coordination, like Otago and Tai Chi that the VNA offers, is most beneficial.  Lack of exercise leads to weakness and increases your risk for falls.

 

Have a health care provider review your medications

Have a health care provider such as your doctor, a pharmacist, or your VNA nurse review all of your medications, even your over-the-counter medications.  As you age, the way medicines work within your body can change and some medications in combination with others can make you sleepy or dizzy.  These changes can increase your risk for falls.

 

Have your vision checked

Make sure to have your vision checked annually.  You may have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your safe vision or even wearing the wrong glasses.  Poor vision in combination with poor lighting increases your risk for falling.

 

Make your home safer

Approximately half of falls occur in the home.  To make you home safer:

 

  • Remove clutter from stairs and places you walk
  • Remove throw rugs or use double-sided tape/ rug grippers to keep rugs from slipping
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without bending over or using a step stool
  • Have grabs bars placed next to your toilet and in the tub or shower
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and shower floors
  • Improve lighting in your home and utilize night lights
  • Have handrails and lights put in stairways
  • Avoid going barefoot. Wear shoes inside and outside the home or wear slippers
  • Consider use of medical alert system such as Lifeline through the VNA

 

Have a safety plan established

What to do? When to call the VNA When to call 911
Trouble moving or had a fall
  • Dizziness or trouble with balance
  • Fell and hurt yourself
  • Fell but didn’t hurt myself
Fell and have severe pain