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Falls are a leading cause of injury and death among older persons. Falls are especially dangerous for women. Because of a common loss of bone strength (osteoporosis), older women can easily break their hips in a fall. Look below to see if you have some combination of these risk factors for falling:

  • Age over 65
  • Female
  • Thin
  • White or Asian race
  • Early onset of menopause
  • Family history of falls
  • Diet low in calcium
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol to excess
  • Swaying when you walk
  • Diagnosis of osteoporosis
  • Presence of a foot disorder
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise
  • Prior stroke

TO REDUCE YOUR RISK OF FALLING AT HOME, CHECK THE FOLLOWING AREAS: EXERCISE GENERAL CAUTION

  • Take your time on steps and curbs. Stop and look directly at steps, so you can judge how steep they are.
  • Avoid icy patches during cold weather. If a weather report warns of icy streets, consider staying inside or asking a friend to walk with you.

Taking Medication
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you take.
If you take more than one prescription, make sure that the combination of these drugs does not make you dizzy.

Stairs and Halls
Make sure stairways and hallways have bright lights.
Use sturdy hand-rails when walking down steps. Consider installing hand-rails for your hallways.
Tack down lose carpeting, especially on stairways. Throw rugs and carpeting should have non-skid backing.

Furniture
Arrange household furniture in ways that provide plenty of walking room.
Use chairs with straight, strong backs and sturdy arm rests.
Use tables with four sturdy legs.
Use chairs and sofas that are not to low to the ground.

Bathroom
In the bathroom, consider installing handrails to guide you from the toilet, to the sink, to the bathtub. Also, consider installing a raised toilet seat.
In the bathtub, install slip resistant strips, or a rubber mat. Consider using a shower seat.
Never lock yourself in your bathroom. If you fall, help may be delayed because of a locked door.

Kitchen
In the kitchen, store items on shelves and in cabinets that are at waist level. Avoid reaching for things that are too high.
Place a rubber mat in front of your sink, so you will not slip on water.
Use bright markers for your oven's on and off position. If you leave the gas on you can pass-out and fall.