Falls— What's Your Risk?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that people aged 65+ have a greater than 1 in 4 chance of falling. And if someone falls once, their chance of falling again doubles to more than 1 in 2.

The CDC Fall Risk quiz below can give you an idea of your risk for falling. Take the quiz and be sure to share your results with your doctor or healthcare provider. This survey is for your information only and is completely anonymous. No names will be collected or associated with your results.

Fall Prevention Tips

Falls can be prevented. These are some simple things you can do to help keep yourself from falling.

Talk to Your Doctor

  • Ask your doctor or healthcare provider to evaluate your risk for falling and talk with them about specific things you can do.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines to see if any might make you dizzy or sleepy. This should include prescription medicines and over-the counter medicines.

Do Strength and Balance Exercises

  • Do exercises that make your legs stronger and improve your balance. Tai Chi is a good example of this kind of exercise.
  • Point and flex your foot while sitting to strengthen the ankle muscles. Remember to walk heel first to help prevent tripping.
  • Consult with your physician to determine what exercise program is right for you.

Have Your Eyes and Ears Checked (as recommended by your primary care physician)

  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year, and be sure to update your eyeglasses if needed.
  • If you have bifocal or progressive lenses, you may want to get a pair of glasses with only your distance prescription for outdoor activities, such as walking.
  • Older adults with impaired vision and/or hearing loss may be at risk for falls. Follow your doctor's recommendations for vision and hearing screening.

Make Your Home Safer

  • Get rid of things you could trip over (for example, piles of newspapers or magazines on the floor, scatter rugs).
  • Tape the edges of larger rugs to the floor.
  • Keep electric cords behind the furniture and not in walkways.
  • Add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower and next to the toilet.
  • Use a shower chair.
  • Put railings on both sides of stairs.
  • Make sure you have adequate lighting in your home.

 

Fall Prevention Resources

The Center for Disease Control website has lots of useful information about falls and fall prevention.
The Massachusetts Falls Prevention Coalition posts fall- and fall prevention-related information on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Greater Lynn Senior Services offers programs to educate people about fall prevention...

Move Safe Program
The Move Safe program at the Kiosk for Living Well is a fun way that consumers can stay engaged in their communities by using the kiosk's fitness classes, the MBTA Trip Planner, and by working with a Fall Prevention Specialist to improve their balance and strength as they age.
For more information about the Kiosk for Living Well and the Move Safe program call 781-586-8538 or 781-586-8523.
You can also email us at scolovos@glss.net or rmacdonald@glss.net.

A Matter of Balance
If you are worried about falling, you might limit your activity as a result. This can have a negative effect on your health and well-being. This workshop helps participants set reasonable goals for increasing activity; improve strength and balance; and learn about how to make changes to their living environment to reduce risk factors for falls.
To find out more about A Matter of Balance classes, call 781-586-8530 or email janaya@glss.net