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    Take Steps to Ease Your Fear of Falling


    Fear of falling is a concern for many older adults. And there’s good reason to be cautious.


    According to the CDC, one out of three adults ages 65 and older falls each year. The CDC estimates that 1 out of 5 of adults who fall injure themselves seriously. These injuries can make it hard to get around and limit independence.


    Do Some Redecorating


    That sounds discouraging, but there’s plenty you can do to make your home safer. 


    Try these strategies to lower your risk:


    • Eliminate slippery rugs. Use only firmly attached or nonskid flooring.
    • Arrange furniture and eliminate clutter so you have a clear path through your home.
    • Firmly attach grab bars by tubs, showers, and toilets.
    • Make sure handrails are tightly fastened.
    • Don’t wear high heels or shoes with slick soles.
    • Install adequate lighting in stairwells, hallways, bedrooms, and bathrooms. Use night-lights.
    • Remove electrical cords and telephone wires from walkways.


    Build Strength to Boost Balance


    If you’ve fallen before, you might think the best way to stay safe is to stay put. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the wrong approach.


    Getting regular exercise will improve your overall physical condition, making you less likely to fall. Focus on strengthening your muscles to improve your balance. The gentle movements of tai chi are often especially helpful for many people. Recreation centers and senior centers are a good option for exercise classes.




    “Check for Safety: A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/HomeandRecreationalSafety/Falls/CheckListForSafety.html.


    “Costs of Falls Among Older Adults.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Updated September 21, 2015. www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/fallcost.html.


    “Fall Among Older Adults: An Overview.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Updated January 20, 2106. www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html.


    “Preventing Falls and Related Fractures.” National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. April 2015. www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/Fracture/prevent_falls.asp.


    “Preventing Falls at Home,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. www.eldercare.gov/ELDERCARE.NET/Public/Resources/Brochures/docs/Preventing_Falls_Brochure_pagebypage.pdf.


    These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, and are not intended to treat or cure any disease. Advances in medicine may cause this information to become outdated, invalid, or subject to debate. Professional opinions and interpretations of scientific literature may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet, exercise, or medication regime.