Q&A: Fall prevention

Aging Well | Safety | December 11, 2017
How to stay safe

I’m getting older and hear people talk more and more about fall prevention. Why is fall prevention important, and what should I do to stay safe?

In the U.S., someone over age 65 falls every 15 seconds, and 95 percent of all hip fractures in people over 65 are caused by falling to the ground. And although falls can occur anywhere, more than half happen right at home. 
Luckily, simple steps can be taken to make sure your home is safe: 
  • Ensure that you have adequate lighting indoors.
  • Make sure to clear floors, stairways, landings, bathrooms, bedrooms and hallways.
  • Prioritize footwear that has traction (those comfy bath slippers aren’t worth a bad fall!), and make sure that things like household rugs are secure.
  • Keep kitchen and laundry room items easily in reach so that you don’t have to get up on chairs or step stools to retrieve them.
  • Equip your showers or baths with a bench or grab bar, and have a raised seat installed on your toilet.
Learn more tips for how to fall-proof your home.

Even young people trip and fall 

Even if you're younger and not so worried about breaking a hip, you'll still want to play it safe.

PeaceHealth emergency departments typically see a surge in fall-related visits in autumn and winter as more people climb up ladders to clean roof gutters, hang holiday lights and prune trees.

And when the weather turns icy, a simple walk down the driveway or across a parking lot can be treacherous. Consider buying boots with heavy tread or invest in snow grips to give you more traction.

Even when you practice every precaution, accidents happen. PeaceHealth is here to help. Read tips on where to go for care.