Everyone has their little moments of clumsiness—dropping a glass, tripping over a rug, stumbling on the sidewalk. For most people, accidents like these are no big deal, but as we get older, issues such as lack of coordination, poor balance, and loss of fine motor skills can become a more serious problem.

All of these seemingly ordinary hallmarks of aging can put you at greater risk of falling—which for seniors is no joke. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death among the elderly, resulting in injuries like broken hips, concussions, and bruises. Luckily, by being aware of this danger, you’ve already taken the first steps on the road to preventing it.

  1. Balance Exercises: Maintaining a good sense of balance is key to old age, both as a way to stay healthy, and to avoid falling. Practicing yoga or walking on a balance beam are good ways to hone your balancing skills, strengthen your feet and ankles, and increase your confidence. Just make sure you have someone to spot you in case you fall.
  2. Stander Bed Rail in Use
  3. Footwear: In addition to strengthening your feet and ankles, make sure that you choose footwear that helps keep you safe. Sturdy shoes with a good tread are a good way to stay secure on all kinds of terrain. Plus they offer ankle support, making them a great safety option. When you’re indoors it is still important to maintain your grip. Socks with a no-slip sole are a good idea, as they offer support and balance, and minimize the risk of falling.
  4. Home Modifications: Since the majority of falls occur inside the home, it’s important to make sure every room of your house is as safe as it can be. You can do this by covering slippery tiled floors with no-slip, rubber-backed rugs (avoid fringed throw rugs,) and installing safety grab bars in your bathroom to provide extra support. Bed rails are also a good idea, as they can prevent a fall from happening as you’re getting in and out of bed.
  5. Mobility Aids: If you have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time, you may want to consider a mobility aid as a possible safety solution. A cane, rollator, walker, or wheelchair can be a great way to maintain your active and independent lifestyle, while keeping you safe from falls at the same time.
  6. Diet: One of the reasons falling is so dangerous is that many seniors tend to have fragile bones, which break easily during a fall. You can make sure your bones are strong and healthy by eating foods with calcium. Milk, yogurt, cheese, as well as soy, kale, and salmon are all rich in this nutrient—so chow down!

Fall prevention is one of the most important things you can do for your health as a senior, and by following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to living a safe, healthy, and confident life!