Your odds of falling each year after age 65 are about one in three. However, don't let the fear of falling rule your life. Many falls and fall-related injuries are preventable with fall-prevention measures.
1. Make an appointment with your doctor. Begin your fall-prevention plan by making an appointment with your doctor. You and your doctor can take a comprehensive look at your environment, your health and your medications to identify situations when you're vulnerable to falling.
2. Keep moving. If you aren't already getting regular physical activity, consider starting a general exercise program as part of your fall-prevention plan. Consider activities such as walking, water workouts or tai chi - a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Such activities reduce your risk of falls by improving your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility. Be sure to get your doctor's OK first, though.
3. Wear sensible shoes. Consider changing your shoes as part of your fall prevention plan. High heels, flip-flops or sandals could cause you to slip. Have your feet professionally measured as your size can change and purchase sturdy shoes with non-skid soles.
4. Remove home hazards. Take a look around you as your home may be filled with booby traps. Remove clutter. Secure loose rugs. Remove obstacles such as coffee tables from high traffic areas. Repair loose floorboards. Use non-skid floor cleans and wax.
5. Light up your living space. As you age, less light is taken in by the eye. Ensure you have adequate light in all rooms and install nightlights in hallways. Turn lights on before going up or down stairs.
6. Use assistive devices. Your doctor may advise you to use a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other devices may be helpful too, such as grab bars in the bathroom, railings on stairways, and non-slip treads on stairways.