Fall prevention tips for elderly

| Advanced Physiotherapy
Fall prevention tips for elderly

Risk factors of falling

  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor balance and difficulty walking independently
  • Postural hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure when you get up from lying down or sitting)
  • Foot problems or unsafe footwear
  • Lack of clear vision, wearing glasses with the wrong prescription or other eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma
  • Side effects of certain medications that cause dizziness or confusion
  • Slower reflexes
  • Fallen before
  • Have chronic conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, or Parkinson’s disease
  • Have weaker control of bladder (urinary incontinence) and frequently need to go to the bathroom
  • Have dementia, depression or self-perceived poor health

How to prevent fall?

1. Exercise Regularly to Prevent Falls

Engaging in at least 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity weekly will help increase your endurance. Try to do a mix of physical activity, especially strength, balance and flexibility exercises at least 3 days a week.

2. Keep Your Bones Strong

When bones are weak, they tend to break more easily. This is known as osteoporosis. By taking enough calcium-rich foods every day, you can keep your bones strong.  Getting an adequate dose of vitamin D from sunlight also helps to keep bones healthy.

3. Go for Regular Eye Checks

Get your eyes checked at least once a year to ensure a clear vision. Your doctor will also be able to detect if you are suffering from any eye conditions such as glaucoma or cataracts, or if your spectacles are fitted to a wrong or outdated prescription.


4. Keep moving

Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention.

If you avoid physical activity because you're afraid it will make a fall your therapist may recommend carefully monitored exercise programs or refer you to a physical therapist. The physical therapist can create a custom exercise program aimed at improving your balance, flexibility and muscle strength.

5. Wear sensible shoes

Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. So can walking in your stocking feet. Instead, wear properly fitting, sturdy, flat shoes with non-skid soles. Sensible shoes may also reduce joint pain.


  1. Remove home hazards

Take a look around your home for potential fall hazards. To make your home safer:

  • Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
  • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
  • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing — or remove loose rugs from your home.
  • Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting right away.
  • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  • Immediately clean spilled liquids, grease or food.
  • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower. Use a bath seat, which allows you to sit while showering.


  1. Light up your living space

Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • Place a lamp within reach of your bed in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.
  • Make clear paths to light switches that aren't near room entrances. Consider trading traditional switches for glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches.
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
  • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.


8. Use assistive devices

Your health care provider might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help, too. For example:

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