Fall Prevention Planning

Make Your Falls-Free Plan | Medication & Falling

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[jbox title=”Fall Prevention & You”]Falls are a serious public health problem. Falling, and the fear of falling, can lead to depression and hopelessness, loss of mobility, and loss of functional independence.[/jbox]

Did You Know?

  • More than one third of adults 65 and older fall each year in the United States.
  • In 2009, more than 20,442 older Americans died due to a fall, 305 of those in NJ.
  • Falls are the most common cause of hospital admissions for trauma.
  • In NJ, every 8 minutes an older adult 60+ is seen in the emergency room for a fall.
  • In NJ, 75% of falls seen in the ER and admitted as inpatients were 60 or older (2009).
  • Falls are the #1 cause of brain injury among older adults
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury deaths among older adults.

The Good News Is Falls Are Preventable!

Here are some things you can do to reduce your risk of falling:

  • Exercise regularly. It increases strength, flexibility and balance.
  • Have your eyes checked by a doctor at least once a year.
  • Wear the right footwear. The safest shoes fit your feet, have low heels, non-slip soles, and lace up or are secured with fabric fasteners.
  • Make your home safer by removing fall hazards and improving lighting.
    • Remove clutter like loose papers, boxes, wires, and phone cords from walk paths and stairways.
    • Make lights brighter, especially in stairways. Consider a nightlight in the bath, bedroom, and hallways.
    • Install bath grips or grab bars in your tub or shower.
    • Use non-skid liners under rugs. Or, better still, remove all throw rugs.
  • Ask the doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines-both prescription and over-the-counter.
    • Many medicines can cause side effects such as weakness or dizziness.
    • Taking four or more medications increases your risk for a fall.

What Should I Do If I Fall?

You should always be prepared for a fall, just in case it does happen.

  • Do not stand up right away
  • Remain calm and still
  • Take a few deep breaths
  • Use a chair to steady yourself and rise up enough to sit on the chair and rest
  • If you are hurt or cannot get up, call for help
  • If alone, stay where you are and try to get comfortable while you wait for help to arrive

Always try to: 

  1. Hold a cell phone, portable phone, or personal emergency response system at all times.
  2. Arrange for a friend or family member to call you at a specific time each day.