Health and Wellness

Strategies to Reduce Your Risk of Falls

By BreakThrough Care Center

In the entry way of your home, check for slippery or uneven surfaces.  Consider if these surfaces may change if it is raining/snowing.  Omit throw rugs or secure them with carpet tape to prevent them from slipping.

Consider installing the following items in the bathroom:

  • Grab bars on the walls of the tub/shower and next to the toilet
  • Raised toilet seat
  • Shower chair
  • Night Lights/Sensor Lights

Always have adequate lighting throughout the house to avoid walking in the dark.

Place your furniture to allow for a clear walking path.

Keep all walkways/paths clear of clutter to avoid tripping.   This includes keeping drawers and doors closed, and keeping electrical cords/wires/cables near the walls and out of the paths.  Clean up spills immediately.  Also be cautious of pets that may be walking next to you.  

When you get up from bed, sit at the side of the bed momentarily before you stand up and start to walk to avoid dizzy spells.

Never hurry up or down the stairs.  Place handrails on both sides of the stairs to maximize arm support.  You can place non-skid contrasting tape on the edge of each step to make the edge of the step more visible.  Never leave objects on stairs.  Avoid carrying large loads up and down the stairs. 

Wear flat/low heeled shoes with rubber soles at home, in the community, and when negotiating stairs.  Shoes that are easy to slip on can contribute to falls.  

In the community, avoid walking on the edge of the side walk in case you lose your balance.  If the surface is wet/icy, walk slowly with smaller steps.  Be aware of unlevel surfaces in the ground such as bumps, cracks in the sidewalk, potholes or other obstructions.  

You may need an assistive device for walking if:

  • You are having frequent falls.
  • You hold onto objects/furniture while walking
  • You get tired easily from walking short distances
  • You have a hard time keeping your balance when standing/walking
  • You are avoiding some activities because you are afraid of falling