How can you prevent falls in older age?

Marc is carrying crates of drinks for Ms Novak. Whoops! He's stumbled over the edge of the rug again. There are lots of tripping hazards here that make it easy to fall. And this can have serious consequences, especially for older people. Ms Novak has already given this some thought. She decides to take action. Even doing a few simple things can help to improve safety at home.

Together with Marc, she looks for tripping and slipping hazards in the house. First, Marc clears away the rug in the hallway. There are cables on the floor in the living room, which Marc attaches to the wall using cable clips. He makes sure there is more light in the stairwell. And as for the slippery floors, Ms Novak has already found her own solutions. She puts a non-slip mat in the shower and from now on she will only wear slippers with non-slip soles.

Ms Novak's personal situation and health also play a role. She can no longer see very well, has problems with her balance and her legs often feel weak. She talks about that with her doctor. Medical aids such as new glasses, a walking stick or a walking frame might make her feel safer.

Ms Novak also regularly goes through her list of medication with her doctor now. Some medications can make you feel dizzy or slow down your reaction time. Maybe she can do without one or more of the medications.

The doctor has another important tip: Ms Novak should keep moving as much as possible. It's important to be physically active, especially as you get older. Depending on your physical abilities, this can also include balance and strength training, dancing or mobility exercises. Her doctor gives her a list of places she can go to nearby.

Ms Novak now feels much safer at home. There are hardly any tripping or slipping hazards, she has new glasses, goes to a senior dance group with her neighbor and can even do without one of her medications. And Marc no longer trips when he brings her crates of drinks – another good reason to celebrate!

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Created on February 14, 2024

Next planned update: 2027


Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG, Germany)

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