A Healthier U

Fall prevention: Simple tips to prevent falls

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. As we get older, physical changes and health conditions—and sometimes the medications used to treat those conditions—make falls more likely. Here are some simple ways to decrease your fall risk.

1.  Keep moving

Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. Activities such as walking, water workouts or tai chi reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. If you are nervous about falling during activity, you can participate in a monitored exercise program. The L.S. Skaggs patient Wellness Center offers supervised exercise options near the U campus in Research Park.

2. Wear sensible shoes

Wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall.

3. Remove home hazards

  • Clear walkways of boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords.
  • Secure loose rugs with tacks or a slip-resistant backing—or remove them.
  • Use nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.

4. Light up your living space

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • 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.

5. Make an appointment with your doctor

Complete your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. Talk about the following issues.

  • Your medications
  • Your fall history
  • Could your health conditions cause a fall?

6. Get screened

The University of Utah Physical Therapy Class of 2018 is offering a free fall risk screening at the Skaggs Patient Wellness Center. OPEN TO ALL. See flyer below for dates and details.

flyer-fall-risk-screening-draft-2


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For more expert health news and information, visit healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed.