How to avoid falls



Did you know falls are a serious concern in older adults?

Approximately 33% of people over 60-80 fall annually and 40% of people over 80 fall annually. Each year more than 1.6 million senior US adults go to the emergency room for fall related injuries.

There are lots of reasons why people fall, but below are some things that may put you at risk for falling.

  • Lower body weakness
  • Poor vision
  • Difficulties with gait and balance
  • Problems with feet and/or shoes
  • Use of certain medications
  • Postural dizziness
  • Home hazardsAlthough falls are common in senior adults, it is not an inevitable event, things can be done to reduce or even prevent falling. Some very easy steps you can take to reduce your fall risk are:Make your home safer

The important thing to remember is the more risk factors you have the more likely you are to fall.

There are some things you can do to minimize your risk for falling:

    1. Remove clutter
    2. Keep cords out of the way
    3. Tack down rugs, or better yet, get rid of them completely
    4. Add grab bars in shower, tubs and toilet areas… and use them!
    5. Use nonslip adhesive strips or a mat in the shower and tub
    6. Consider sitting on a bench or stool in the shower
    7. Consider using an elevated toilet seat A physical therapist can evaluate you to determine specific exercises that may help increase your strength and balance and decreased your risk of falling.
    8. Exercise to help increase strength in your legs and help with balance.
    9. Review medications with your doctor or pharmacist to find out of any you take can cause dizziness or drowsiness.

The following websites will help you understand fall risk a little better and help you find a PT who can help you live the safe, independent lifestyle you want.

Blog post information provided by Grayson Doar DPT


Grayson is a Physical Therapist at the University of Utah Balance and Mobility clinic (520 Wakara Way, Suite 120 Salt Lake City, UT 84108). Her treatment focus includes geriatrics, balance and vestibular, and Parkinson’s disease. To schedule an appointment to see Grayson please call 801-587-9161.