Stay Grounded This Fall: Tips for Maintaining Balance and Stability

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults, with most falls occurring in the home? While this all sounds like bad news, there is some good…in that falls can be prevented. Most falls tend to occur due to a combination of risk factors.

Some risk factors for falling are:

  • Muscle weakness (especially in the legs and core)
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure when you get up from sitting or lying down
  • Use of certain medications which may cause dizziness or drowsiness
  • Vision problems
  • Dehydration
  • Difficulty with walking and/or balance
  • Home hazards (such as cords, non-slip rugs, broken stairs, no handrails near stairs or in bathrooms)

Follow these general strategies to help reduce your chances of falling:

  1. Exercise Regularly: Engage in activities that improve balance, strength, and flexibility, which can help reduce the risk of falls. Your healthcare provider can assist in finding an exercise program that is best for you and your needs.
  2. Review Medications: Certain medications can cause dizziness or drowsiness, increasing the risk of falls. Consult with a healthcare provider to review your medications and their potential side effects.
  3. Regular Eye Check-ups: Poor vision can contribute to falls. Regular eye check-ups can help ensure that your vision is optimal and reduce the risk of falls due to visual impairments.
  4. Encourage Healthy Habits: Encourage a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and adequate hydration to maintain overall physical health and wellbeing.
  5. Use Assistive Devices: If necessary, use canes or walkers to aid in stability and balance. Make sure these devices are properly fitted and in good working condition.
  6. Wear Proper Footwear: Choose supportive and well-fitting footwear with non-slip soles to prevent slips and falls.
  7. Be Mindful of Pets: Pets can be a tripping hazard, so be cautious when moving around them, especially in confined spaces.
  8. Keep Your Home Safe: Remove tripping hazards, use non-slip mats, and ensure that your home is well-lit. Install handrails and grab bars in key areas like the bathroom.

Remember, falls are often preventable with the right precautions and safety measures in place!

For more information on fall prevention, watch the Orange TV Extension Solutions segment on Maintaining Balance and  Preventing Falls below!


Hillary Ayers, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for UF/IFAS Extension Orange County
Posted: October 18, 2023

Category: , Health & Nutrition, Home Management, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, WORK & LIFE
Tags: #extensionforall, Fall Prevention, Fall Safety, Family, Family And Consumer Sciences, Maintaining Balance, Ocextension, Older Adults, UF/IFAS Extension Orange County

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