Falls Prevention Awareness Week
Posted on 09/22/2023

As falls prevention awareness week comes to a close, be mindful that we can mitigate fall risk throughout the year to build strength and resilience within a comfortable and safe environment. 


Prevent falls at home: Clear pathways and declutter the home both inside and outside paying special attention to cords, rugs, and inclines. Repair uneven or unstable surfaces, add grab bars in bathrooms and throughout the home where needed. Plan for inclement weather in entrances to the home and surrounding property. A well-lit environment can help to prevent injury. 

Attire and medical devices: Be conscious of clothing that could become a trip hazard and wear supportive footwear. Be mindful of animals so that a beloved pet continues to be a support rather than an obstacle. Utilize medical devices such as canes or walkers, being sure they are fit properly and adequate space has been cleared. Refer to a physical therapist to learn how to best use the device. 


Workplace or household tasks: Remove obstructions such as boxes, hoses, tools, or extension cords. Use the proper ladder or securely designed step stool for the job and avoid climbing alone by having a spotter present. Keep surfaces dry, clean, and repair uneven flooring, inspecting for protruding nails, loose boards, or cracks in concrete. Wear a safety harness and slip-resistant footwear with steel toe when needed. 


Medication: Review prescription and over-the-counter medications regularly with your physician. Be sure to discuss dosage and time of day correlating food and fluid intake as directed with each medication. Some medications may increase fall risk. Discuss ways to reduce risks and consider discussing potential changes with the physician to best treat the condition while also addressing side effects. Keep each person’s medications separate and store in a safe place that is inaccessible to children and vulnerable adults but convenient and easily accessible for the person taking the medication. Incorporate dispensers and timers to avoid overdose or missed doses.  


Vision and hearing: Regularly scheduled screenings with an ophthalmologist or optometrist are important for optimal eye health and vision. Update eyewear to the most recent prescription and keep glasses clean. Be sure eyewear is properly fitted to stay comfortably in place. Find a consistent location to store glasses where they are needed and will be easily accessed. Have hearing screened and be sure hearing aides are properly fitted, maintained, and stored in a consistent and easily accessible location. Contact your physician or specialist if changes in hearing or balance occur. 

Nutrition and activity: Maintain a healthy, nutritious diet for energy and optimal health. Activity built into our daily schedules helps to improve and maintain balance and agility. Discuss adding organized exercise with a physician, such as an online modified program, a local class, or a referral to a physical therapist. Find a walking buddy by talking with a friend, neighbor, family, social or church group member or participate in walking hours at our local mall. Kadlec Healthy Ages | Providence 


Talk to others: Discuss how to reduce fall risk with your family, friends, and loved ones. We can support one another as we age to achieve and maintain our best possible health. Sharing our plans with those we trust helps us to all look out for each other. Reaching out to a friend or neighbor can help us stay better connected and provide an element of safety. Seek help with tasks, schedule with your primary care provider, and keep the cell phone or assistive device within reach to call 911 in case of an emergency.  


Benton-Franklin Health District staff strives to support all residents to thrive in safe and healthy environments. We encourage everyone to practice awareness and take steps to reduce fall risks for all members of our community.