According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in five falls results in a serious injury such as a broken bone or head trauma. Falls can:
- Limit mobility
- Decrease ability to perform daily living activities
- Prevent an older person from living independently
- Result in traumatic brain injury
If you experience a fall, seek emergency services at a nearby Nuvance Health hospital.
Many falls are preventable with these steps:
Talk with your doctor
Ask your doctor or provider to evaluate your risk for falling. Discuss both prescription and over-the-counter medicines to determine if they might make you dizzy or sleepy. Your doctor may also recommend vitamin D supplements.
Participate in classes proven to reduce fall risk
Check Nuvance Health locations to find if your local hospital offers classes such as Tai Chi or other courses designed to improve balance.
Sign up for Dutchess County Bingocize or Tai Chi.
See a vision specialist
Have your vision checked each year by an eye care professional to ensure proper vision. If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with a distance only prescription for outdoor activities. Bifocal or progressive lenses may make objects appear closer or farther than they really are, which can result in disorientation and falls.
Make your home safer
Keep your home and surroundings tidy and remove objects that can be tripping hazards. Other recommendations include:
- Adding grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet
- Putting railings on both sides of stairs
- Making sure your home has lots of lights by adding more or brighter light bulbs
Download home modifications to reduce falls [PDF] for more tips. Learn more about fall-prevention classes offered in partnership with the Dutchess County Office for the Aging and the Vassar Brothers Medical Center Trauma Department:
Do you know if you are at an increased risk for falls?
The National Council on Aging has a wealth of information about developing a “Falls Free” lifestyle for older adults. Use this “Falls Free Checkup” to find out.