Skip to main content

Protect Your Loved Ones From Falling

By: Gloria Neault, MSN, RN, Program Manager-Healthy Aging

Every second of every day an older adult falls. 
Many falls cause injury, loss of independence, and in some cases, death. Falls can be prevented. As a family caregiver, you can help!

Speak Up

Talk openly with your loved one and their healthcare provider about fall risks and prevention.

  • Tell a healthcare provider right way if your loved one has fallen, or if they are worried about falling, or seem unsteady.
  • Keep an up-to-date list of your loved one’s medications. Show a healthcare provider or pharmacist all of their medications, including over-the-counter medications and supplements. Discuss any side effects like feeling dizzy or sleepy.
  • Ask their healthcare provider about taking vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle and nerve health.

Keep MovingExercise

Activities that improve balance and strengthening legs (like Tai Chi) can prevent falls.

  • Exercise and movement also make your loved one feel better and more confident.
  • Check with their healthcare provider about the best type of exercise program for them.
  • Find a class through your local Agency on Aging.

Have Eyes and Feet Checked

Being able to see and walk comfortably can prevent falls.

  • Have their eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year.
  • Replace eyeglasses as needed.
  • Have their healthcare provider check their feet once per year.
  • Discuss proper footwear, and ask whether seeing a foot specialist is advised.

Make the Home Safe

Most falls happen at home.

  • Keep floors clutter free.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Add grab bars in the bathroom – next to and inside the tub, and next to the toilet.
  • Have handrails and lights installed on all staircases.
  • Make sure the home has lots of light.
  • Use this Check for Safety checklist to find and fix hazards in the home.
  • Other resources include your local Agency on Aging and StopFalls  

You don't have to do this on your own! The Stay Independent tool can help start the conversation with others who can help.

Contact your local Agency on Aging or community senior center for information on exercise, fall prevention programs, or options for improving home safety.

If you would like more information on this, or any other health related topic, the Health Educators at the Learning Resource Center are happy to help. They provide trusted & reliable health information and connect people to local resources in the community. Connect with a health educator todayBe well, be well-informed.

Latest News

View All
SMHC Offering Free Mammograms for Women Without Insurance in October
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC) is offering free mammograms to women in the community age 40 or older without active breast problems who do not have insurance.
Drive-through Flu Shots Available at MaineHealth Care at Home
MaineHealth Care at Home (MHCAH) will be offering drive-through flu shots for all community members at their Saco location at 15 Industrial Park Rd.
Franklin Community Health Network offers flu clinics
Franklin Community Health Network is offering drive-up flu clinics in October for adults on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus and via mobile outreach by the Healthy Community Coalition. No appointment is required.
Physicians Join Maine Medical Partners
Maine Medical Partners announces the following new hires.