Fall Prevention for People With Disabilities and Older Adults
Falls are the leading cause of injury and accidental death in
adults over the age of 65 years. New or unfamiliar surroundings,
improper footwear, cumbersome furniture arrangements, and
distractions all can cause a person to accidentally stumble and
fall, causing a serious injury, even death.
However, implementing a few prevention practices at home can
decrease a person's risk of an unnecessary fall.
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What can a person do to prevent falling?
- Do not walk and talk at the same time. Concentrate on the
task of walking and continue the conversation after you've
reached a safe place.
- Wear appropriate footwear. When walking long
distances or in unfamiliar areas, wear flat, nonslip shoes. Also
wear shoes that fit well and are comfortable.
- Arrange furniture so that it creates plenty
of room to walk freely. If you use a walking aid, ensure that
doorways and hallways are large enough to get through with any
devices you may use.
- Install railings in hallways and grab bars
in the bathroom and shower to prevent slipping.
- Be sure you have adequate lighting
throughout your house.
- Install nonslip strips or a rubber mat on
the floor of the tub or shower.
- Remove throw rugs or secure them firmly to
- Use caution when carrying items while
- Use a nightlight when getting out of bed at
- Stay active to maintain overall strength and
- Know your limitations. If there is a task
you can not complete with ease, do not risk a fall by trying to
Need more information?
If you would like to consult an occupational therapist about
making your home safer, practitioners are available through most
hospitals, community clinics, and medical centers.
Occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants
are trained in helping both adults and children with a broad
range of physical, developmental, and psychological conditions.
Practitioners also help clients in wellness techniques that may
prevent injury and disease. Contact your local health officials
for more information.