Preventing falls - what to ask your doctorFall prevention - what to ask your doctor
Many people with medical problems are at risk of falling or tripping. This can leave you with broken bones or more serious injuries. You can do many things to make your home safer for you to prevent falls.
Below are questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help keep your home safe for you.
Am I taking any medicines that will make me sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded?
Are there exercises I can do to make me stronger or improve my balance to help prevent falls?
Where in my home do I need to make sure there is enough light?
How can I make my bathroom safer?
- Do I need a shower chair?
- Do I need a raised toilet seat?
- Do I need help when I take a shower or bath?
Do I need bars on the walls in the shower, by the toilet, or in the hallways?
Is my bed low enough?
- Do I need a hospital bed?
- Do I need a bed on the first floor so I do not need to climb stairs?
How can I make the stairs at my house safer?
Is it OK to have pets in the home?
What are other things that I may trip over?
What can I do about any uneven floors?
Do I need help with cleaning, cooking, laundry, or other household chores?
Should I use a cane or a walker?
What should I do if I fall? How can I keep my phone near me?
Should I purchase a medical alert system to call for help if I fall?
American Geriatrics Society Health in Aging Foundation website. Falls prevention. www.healthinaging.org/a-z-topic/falls-prevention. Updated August 2020. Accessed May 4, 2021.
Hejkal J, Fisher AL. Gait, balance, and falls. In: Warshaw GA, Potter JF, Flaherty E, Heflin MT, McNabney MK, Ham RJ, eds. Ham's Primary Care Geriatrics. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 20.
Phelan EA, Mahoney JE, Voit JC, Stevens JA. Assessment and management of fall risk in primary care settings. Med Clin North Am. 2015;99(2):281-293. PMID: 25700584 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25700584/.
Review Date: 1/31/2021
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.