The best way to prevent a fall?

Know your risk of falling

Falling is not a normal part of aging, and most falls can be prevented. But you can’t prevent a fall unless you recognize that there is a risk. Here’s a simple self-assessment from the STEADY U Ohio initiative. See if any of the following statements applies to you or a loved one:

  • I have fallen in the past year.*
  • I use or have been advised to use a cane or walker to get around safely.
  • Sometimes I feel unsteady when I am walking.*
  • I steady myself by holding onto furniture when walking at home.
  • I am worried about falling.
  • I need to push with my hands to stand up from a chair.
  • I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb.
  • I often have to rush to the toilet.
  • I have lost some feeling in my feet.
  • I take medicine that sometimes makes me feel light-headed or tired.
  • I take medicine to help me sleep or improve my mood.
  • I often feel sad or depressed.

Give yourself one point for each statement you answered with “yes.” (Add two points for items marked with “*.” If you scored four points or more, you may be at increased risk for falls. Talk to your health care provider and ask for a comprehensive falls risk assessment. Be prepared to talk about your history of falls, your medications and your physical activity level.

Once you know what is putting you at risk for a fall, your next step is to do whatever you need to do help prevent a fall. Visit www.steadyu.ohio.gov for tips and resources.

 

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