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Home Safety

Falls are one of the leading causes of injury deaths among people over age 65 and responsible for approximately 70% of accidental deaths in persons 75 years and older. Additionally, hospital stays are almost twice as long in elderly patients who are hospitalized after a fall than in elderly patients who are admitted for another reason.

Fall Causes & Risk Factors

The following causes and risk factors can lead to increased falls at home:

  • Decreased strength and flexibility
  • Decreased reflexes/ coordination
  • Decreased vision
  • Decreased hearing
  • Chronic illnesses such as urinary incontinence, vision difficulties, stroke, Parkinsons, hypertension
  • Cognitive impairment, dementia
  • Previous falls
  • Heavy drinking (alcohol)
  • Decreased bone density/ osteoporosis
  • 4 or more prescription medications -combination of meds can cause drug interactions with adverse side effects that can contribute to falls
  • Side effects of certain types of medications
  • Small pets
  • Uneven walkways/ pathways (outside)
  • Footwear/Clothing

Fall Prevention Tips

The following prevention tips will help you to be safer at home:

  • Bathroom modifications
  • Avoid use of a step stool, but if necessary use a sturdy stool when getting something from a high shelf
  • Adjust the height of your bed so it is easy to get in and out of
  • Put telephone within reach of the bed
  • Have a light near your bed that is easily to turn on from bed
  • Wear shoes that provide support, have rubber soles (nonskid soles) and are not “slip on”
  • Have vision checked annually
  • Have hearing checked every 2 years
  • Have an MD or Pharmacist review all your current meds; discuss with MD ways to use lowest effective dosage and regularly assess the need for continued meds
  • Use a nightlight throughout your home especially in the hallway and bathroom