There are several risk factors that make an older adult vulnerable to falling.
Risk factors include:
- lower body weakness
- difficulties with walking and balance
- inner ear issues
- vision problems
- home hazards
It's important that we provide the necessary information and resources to help prevent older adult falls.
How to prevent falls
1. Exercise to improve your strength and balance
Stay active to keep your legs stronger, improve your balance, and lower your chances of falling. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that's best for you.
2. Have your eyes checked every year
As people age, the risk for vision loss and eye-related diseases increases. Consequently, your risk of falling also increases. People with vision problems, such as glaucoma or cataracts, are twice as likely to fall compared to those without visual impairments. Have your vision checked once a year by your doctor, and make sure your prescription is up to date.
3. Keep your home safe
More than half of all falls occur at home. Remove tripping hazards from stairs and walkways. Home modifications such as grab bars and non-slip mats in bathrooms, handrails for the stairs, and improved lighting can help prevent potential falls.
4. Check your medications and side effects
Talk to your doctor to review your medications and their potential side effects. Some medications can make you dizzy, sleepy, or increase your risk of falling.
5. Talk to your doctor
Have your doctor evaluate your risk for falling. Tell them if you have fallen in the past year, or have any fears about falling. They can perform health assessments, to help you maintain your health, mobility, and independence. They may recommend walking aids to help you remain fall-free.
How we're keeping you safe
Local and state organizations
Boston Elderly Commission
We facilitate full and equal participation in all aspects of life for adult residents in Boston.
Mayor's Health Line
This provides residents with services like answering health insurance eligibility and enrollment questions, and finding primary care providers and other services.
MADPH: Injury Prevention and Control Program
A program focused on preventing injury from falls.
Central Boston Elder Services
Providing support and services to the elderly and disabled in need of human services.
Ethos: Tai Chi
A free evidence based workshop focused on fall prevention and improved balance with Tai Chi.
Ethos: A Matter of Balance
A program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity among older adults.
BCYF Senior Programs
Community programs for Boston’s older adult residents.
Boston Home Center
Working with neighborhood agencies to assist seniors applying for minor or large home repairs.
ESAC: Senior Home Repairs
Protecting health and safety for seniors while maintaining and improving quality of life through senior home repairs.
Statewide Head Injury Program
This program provides services to eligible people with external traumatic brain injuries.