Every 2.3 seconds, an aging person falls. To help change that statistic, the NFPA created these eight evidence-based fall prevention strategies that were developed specifically for aging adults to help them live safely at home for as long as possible.
1. Exercise regularly to build up strength and improve balance and coordination. Ask your doctor about the best physical exercise for you.
2. Take your time. Get out of chairs slowly. Sit a moment before you get out of your bed. Stand and get your balance before you walk. Be aware of your surroundings.
3. Keep stairs and walking areas free of electrical cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazines and other items.
4. Improve the lighting in and outside your home. Use nightlights or a flashlight to light the path between your bedroom and the bathroom. Turn on the lights before using the stairs. See an eye specialist once a year as better vision can help prevent falls.
5. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. Have grab bars installed on the wall next to the bathtub, shower, and toilet. Wipe up spilled liquids immediately.
6. Be aware of uneven surfaces indoors and outdoors. If you must have scatter rugs, make sure they lay flat and do not slide when you step on them. Smooth out wrinkles and folds in carpeting. Be aware of uneven sidewalks and pavement outdoors. Ask a family member or neighbor to clear ice and snow from outside stairs and walkways and always use hand rails if available. Step carefully.
7. Stairways should be well lit from both the top and the bottom. Have easy-to-grip handrails installed along the full length of both sides of the stairs.
8. Wear sturdy, well-fitting, low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles. They are safer than high heels, thick-soled athletic shoes, slippers or stocking feet.
Learn more at http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-consumers/populations/older-adults