Prevention of Falls In Elderly

Tips to manage falls in elderly

Did you know that almost one in three seniors over the age of 65 years fall each year?

Falls don’t “just happen,” and people don’t fall because they get older.

Major fractures due to trivial falls can occur because the bones are osteoporotic. In fact, falls are the #1 cause of Hip Fractures.

I need not emphasize how much incapability and loss of independence broken bones can cause in the elderly.

Other injuries like head injuries can occur leading to serious untoward complications which would have been avoided if the fall was prevented.

Older people do not need to live in the fear of falling.

The majority of falls can be prevented by adopting a few precautions, especially in patients who are known to be prone to falls due to their medical condition.

Often, more than one underlying cause or risk factor is involved in a fall. By recognizing and treating the risk factors like vertigo early on, we can prevent our seniors from falling.

Most of the falls occur at homes. Some common dangers at home leading to falls are –

➢ Slippery floors e.g., water on floors esp. in the bathroom; Marble flooring, loose mats or rugs
➢ Uneven flooring
➢ Dim or inadequate lighting,
➢ Improperly placed or Broken Furniture
➢ Books, papers, shoes or toys scattered on the floor.
➢ Stairs with Rails broken, slippery
➢ Using high shelves to keep frequently used items, which can only be reached by standing on a chair or stool.

Here are some tips to improve home safety and prevent falls.

❖ Always make sure that shoes and slippers are comfortable and fit properly
❖ By keeping home safe – avoiding dangers as mentioned

  • Remove clutter, keep the floors clean.
  • Install railings on both sides of stairs

❖ Avoid having cords or wires on the floor to prevent tripping due to them.
❖ Use Locks on doors that open from both sides
❖ Bathroom Safety

  • Non-slip pads or strips on the bathtub or shower floor.
  • Remove bathmats or area rugs that could cause trips and falls.
  • Install grab bars and/or safety rails in the bath or shower and near the toilet.
  • Get a toilet safety frame or raised seat to add stability while using the toilet.
  • Shower stool/seat with rigid seat and back and rubber tips
  • Make sure toiletries and supplies are within easy reach.
  • Add nightlights or motion lighting to the bathroom to ensure it’s well-lit even at night.


❖ Use higher wattage bulbs and night lights so you can see better
❖ Improve Balance with Regular Exercise
❖ Get regular eye check ups to detect vision problems at the earliest
❖ If you become lightheaded or dizzy, lie down immediately
❖ If you have been prescribed a walker, be sure to use it
❖ Most importantly visit your doctor at the slightest hint of having any balance issues or vertigo as timely intervention can prevent falls.

This balance awareness initiative lets StandForBalance create as much awareness about balance disorders as we can. References:

  1. Falls and Dizziness in the Elderly – ScienceDirect; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:16 am.
  2. Causes of falls | NHS inform; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:20 am
  3. Dizziness and (Fear of) Falling in The Elderly: A Few Facts; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:30 am
  4. Vertigo in the Elderly: What Does It Mean? – ENTtoday; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:40 am
  5. Home Safety | Elderly Fall Prevention; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:50 am
  6. Dizziness and prevention of falls in the elderly | Geriatric Care; accessed on 6 Nov 2020, 1:55 am