September 1, 2022

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Falls

By Mike Mathews
Milestones Area Agency on Aging

September is National Falls Prevention Month, a topic that lives at the very forefront of Milestones mission. For older adults, a simple mishap can be life changing—like tripping on a rug or slipping on a wet floor. If you fall, you could break a bone, like thousands of older men and women do each year. For older people, a break can be the start of more serious problems, such as a trip to the hospital, injury, or even disability.

If you or an older person you know has fallen, you’re not alone. More than one in three people age 65 years or older falls each year. The risk of falling—and fall-related problems—rises with age.

The fear of falling becomes more common as people age, even among those who haven’t fallen. It may lead older people to avoid activities such as walking, shopping, or taking part in social activities.

However, a fear of falling does not need to keep someone from being active. Overcoming this fear can help you stay active, maintain your physical health, and prevent future falls. Doing things like getting together with friends, gardening, walking, or going to the local senior center helps you stay healthy. The good news is, there are simple ways to prevent most falls. Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of falling.

Stay physically active. Plan an exercise program that is right for you. Regular exercise improves muscles and makes you stronger.

Have your eyes and hearing tested. Even small changes in sight and hearing may cause you to fall.

Find out about the side effects of any medicine you take. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist.

Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop making you feel wobbly.

Use an assistive device if you need help feeling steady when you walk. Appropriate use of canes and walkers can prevent falls.

Want to take it a step further?  Milestones offers several evidence-based classes focused specifically toward falls prevention.

A Matter of Balance (MOB) is specifically designed to diminish the risk of falling, stop the fear of falling cycle,  and improve activity levels among community-dwelling older adults.

Stepping On brings together the life experience of participants and the expertise of community professionals. It covers a range of issues, including falls and risk, simple strength and balance exercises, home hazards, nutrition, safe footwear and clothing, vision and falls, safety in public places, coping after a fall, and medication safety. Social learning principles are focused on behavior change to reduce falls.

Tai Chi for Arthritis & Falls Prevention (TCA/FP) consists of slow movements that improve balance, reduce pain, increase muscle strength, and enhance functional mobility to reduce the risk of falling. The program is led by a trained instructor certified by the Tai Chi for Health Institute.

For more information about any of these courses, please call Milestones at (855) 410-6222, or visit

Milestones provides evidence-based programming for healthy aging. Evidence-based programs offer proven strategies to promote health, better manage and possibly even prevent disease among older adults, and reduce the risk of falling. With an emphasis on self-management education and physical activity, these programs are effective, convenient, affordable options for helping people improve the quality of their lives. In some cases, evidence-based community wellness and prevention programs can reduce healthcare costs for beneficiaries.

Filed Under: Health & Wellness

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