Falls: Four tips to reduce your risk

Screening, Topics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four older adults falls each year, and one in five falls causes serious injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. Falls are the leading cause of traumatic injuries seen at McLaren Port Huron’s emergency room, with the majority resulting in hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries. 

Four things you can do to reduce your risk of falling include:

  • Exercise to improve your strength and balance. As your legs get stronger, your risk of falling decreases. Talk with your doctor about the best exercise program for you.
  • Review your medications with your doctor. Some medicines, or combination of medicines, can make you dizzy, lightheaded or sleepy. Make sure to review both prescription medications and over-the-counter medications.
  • Have your vision checked. Poor vision can increase your risk for falling. An appointment with an eye doctor at least once a year can help identify conditions that limit your vision.
  • Make your home safer. About half of all falls happen at home. You can make your home safer by removing tripping hazards from places where you walk, improving lighting, using grab bars and non-slip mats in the bathroom, and wearing comfortable, well-fitting shoes both inside and outside.

If you or a loved one are concerned about falling, you may benefit from a free balance screening. Visit www.mclaren.org/ph-pt to learn more.