Preventing Falls in Older Adults
Every year, one in three Americans aged 65 and older experiences a fall. In New York City, falls are a leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalization for older adults. In addition to serious injuries and deaths, falls can affect the quality of life for older adults, sometimes making it harder for them to live independently. Although falls are common, they do not need to be a normal part of aging. Falls are preventable and everyone can help older adults avoid them.
Learn more about how falls prevention contributes to the Health of Older Adults in New York City (PDF).
Tips and Strategies
Falls can happen for many reasons. Some factors that can lead to falls include:
- Muscle weakness
- Trouble with mobility or balance
- Side effects of medications
- Fear of falling.
You can prevent falls by taking these measures:
- Make Your Home Safer: Almost half of falls occur in the home. To make your home safer, find and fix trip and fall hazards. If you work from home, be careful of computer and electrical wires. Coil the wires next to the wall and tape them down if you can.
- Be Active: Physical activity is a great way to prevent falls and many exercises can be done from your home.
- Care for Your Feet: Wear the proper footwear, even at home. Learn more about how to keep your feet healthy.
- Focus on Medicine Safety: Manage your medicine routine and pay attention to medicines that may increase your risks of falling. Call your pharmacist to discuss refills and possible delivery options.
- Talk to Your Health Care Provider: Talk to your health care provider about strategies to keep your home safe and you healthy. To help prepare for your visit, learn more about:
- Reduce Your Fear of Falling: A fear of falling is common, even among those who have not had a fall, and it can actually increase your risk of a fall.
In the event of a fall, there are strategies and tips that can help you prepare for potential falls and decrease your risk of serious injury.
Caregivers and Providers
If you are taking care of an older adult, check out the Department of Heath’s tips and resources for new and experienced caregivers.
New York City Falls Prevention Coalition
The New York City Falls Prevention Coalition brings together partners from across different sectors to leverage information and resources to reduce the incidence and burden of falls among vulnerable populations. For more information, contact the Falls Prevention Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org
To get free falls prevention materials by mail, call 311.