Female Right at Home caregiver holding the hand of a senior female outside, while smiling Female Right at Home caregiver holding the hand of a senior female outside, while smiling

Fall Prevention is Everybody’s Business

September is National Fall Prevention Awareness month, a good time to revisit why older adults are at increased risk of falling and what we can do to prevent it from happening in the first place. One in four older adults experience a fall each year. Sadly, these falls can lead to injuries and hospitalization.

“Falling is not an inevitable part of getting older,” said Emily Ingram, Vice President of Right at Home Metro. “But older adults are at increased risk because of biology, behavior, and environment.” 

Biological reasons include muscle weakness, balance issues, chronic conditions, vision changes or medication side effects. The behavioral reasons for falls include substance abuse, inactivity, and risky activities. Finally, environmental factors are things such as low lighting, clutter and other tripping hazards, unsafe public spaces, or homes that have not been updated to better assist mobility.

Only one in five falls results in serious injury, and fewer than one in 100 result in death. But any fall can start a spiral of increasingly poor health outcomes for older adults. "Falling can have a big impact on an older adult, even if they aren’t badly injured,” said Ingram. “Experiencing a fall can have an emotional impact as well. The fear of falling again can cause depression and anxiety in older adults and contribute to less physical and social activity. That can lead to isolation and increased frailty.”

We can see why it’s so important take steps to prevent falls before they happen. What things can we do to make sure our loved ones take steps to prevent falls?

Click here for our Fall Prevention Guide.

Make sure their home is as safe as possible. Creating a safe home environment for an older adult is crucial in preventing falls and ensuring their well-being. Start by removing any clutter and tripping hazards from pathways, such as loose rugs or cords. Install handrails in hallways and staircases, and place non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen areas. Adequate lighting is essential, so ensure all rooms are well lit and use nightlights in bedrooms and bathrooms. Organize commonly used items within easy reach to avoid reaching or bending excessively. Regularly check and maintain the condition of stairs, flooring, and outdoor walkways.

Help them get moving. Engaging in regular physical activity can significantly help older people prevent falls and maintain their independence. Activities that focus on improving balance, such as standing on one leg or walking heel-to-toe, can enhance stability and reduce the risk of falls. Strength training exercises, like leg lifts and squats, build lower body strength and support better balance. Moderate aerobic exercises like brisk walking or swimming can improve cardiovascular health and overall mobility. Gentle exercises such as tai chi or water exercises offer the added benefits of enhancing balance and flexibility.

Get a fall assessment. A fall assessment is a comprehensive evaluation conducted by healthcare professionals to identify a person’s risk of falling. During the assessment, the healthcare provider will ask about medical history, medications, and any prior falls. They will assess the individual’s balance, gait, muscle strength, and flexibility through various physical tests.

 “With proper preparation, older adults can feel safe and confident in their ability to move around independently in their homes and communities without injury,” said Ingram. 

Jodie Spears

Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(501) 673-3166

Need help right now? Call us anytime at

(501) 673-3166