One way to help your body stay active and healthy is to prevent a potential fall. No one plans on falling and getting injured, but the potential for falling increases as we age. The good news is that you can reduce your risk of falling, injury (and possible hospitalization and disability) by being aware of common causes of falls and following a few simple steps to prevent them from happening.


Medical causes
  • Conditions that affect balance: diabetes, heart disease, low blood pressure, neuropathy
  • Medications that cause dizziness or sleepiness
  • Orthostatic hypotension: dizziness when sitting or standing that resolves quickly
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Dementia
Personal health causes
  • Poor eyesight and hearing loss
  • Decreased reflexes and muscle weakness
  • Gait or foot problems that affect balance
  • Unsafe shoes: poor fit, high heel, raised or loose sole
  • Confusion in unfamiliar environments
Environmental causes
  • Low lighting
  • Loose throw rugs
  • Extension cords across floors
  • Slippery showers and tubs
  • Water on floor
  • Ice on sidewalk and driveway
  • Stairs


  • Stay physically active
  • Get regular eye & hearing checks
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stand up slowly after sitting down
  • Take a few minutes before getting out of bed
  • Limit amount of alcohol you drink
  • Use assistive devices when walking (canes, walkers)
  • Wear socks or slippers with rubber soles on stairs and non-carpeted floors
  • Avoid or use caution on slippery surfaces such as wet floors or icy walkways
  • Have shoes professionally fitted and replace when treads are worn
  • Do a home walkthrough: improve lighting, install handrails on stairs & in tubs/showers, secure rugs with nonslip pads or tape, move extension cords
  • Follow instructions from your provider for all medical conditions
  • Let your provider know if a fall happens, even if no injury occurred
  • Ask your provider about physical therapy for improving muscle strength and balance
  • Know your medication side effects

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