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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Preventing Falls Among Older Adults

Florida Department of Health Gulf County

There are many reasons why an older adult might fall, including a variety of biological, behavioral, and environmental factors. These risk factors include:

  • A previous fall
  • Chronic health conditions (e.g., arthritis, stroke)
  • Conditions in the home (e.g., slippery floors, loose rugs, cords on the floor, poor lighting)
  • Fear of falling
  • Medicines (including interaction effects)
  • Mobility problems (e.g., muscle weakness, balance)
  • Poor nutrition (leading to weakness, dizziness, fainting)
  • Poor vision or hearing

Older adults who have one or more of these conditions may have a higher risk of falling. The following practices are recommended for older adults to reduce their chances of falling and help them stay independent:

  • Exercising regularly (especially leg strengthening and improving balance)
  • Having an eye doctor check their vision at least once a year
  • Making their home environment safer
  • Reviewing their medicines with a doctor or pharmacist