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Tips for Avoiding Injury

Each year 13.5 million people aged 65 and older suffer from falls. Lifeline RI is there to help if you fall; following are ways to avoid a fall and to prevent injury from a minor fall.

Preventing a Fall

Following are a few ways to reduce the risk of falling. Be sure to check with your health care professional for more information and for advice specific to your situation.

  • Clear snow and ice from entrances, and paint stairs with a mixture of sand and paint for better traction.
  • Keep outdoor walkways clear and well lit.
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairs.
  • Use nightlights in key areas and keep lamps and flashlights in reach.
  • Install bathroom equipment such as grab bars, non-slip surfaces, shower benches, and elevated toilet seats.
  • Wear low-heeled, non-slip shoes and use canes or other walking aids as directed by your health care provider.
  • Exercise regularly to improve strength, flexibility, and balance.
  • Review medications with your doctor and have your hearing and eyesight tested regularly.
  • If you feel light-headed, sit or stay seated until your head clears and stand up slowly to avoid unsteadiness.

Getting Up from a Fall Safely

Getting up from a fall quickly or the wrong way can cause or worsen an injury. If you are hurt in a fall, use your Lifeline Help Button to call for assistance. To get up safely, follow these steps:

  • Look around for a stair or a sturdy piece of furniture to support you before trying to stand.
  • To get to your support, roll over onto your side by turning your head in the direction you want to roll, then move your shoulders, arm hips, and finally your legs.
  • Push your body up. Lift your head and pause to steady yourself.
  • Slowly get onto your hands and knees and crawl to the supporting stair, sturdy chair, or other piece of furniture.
  • Place your hands on the flat surface of the support and slide one foot forward so it is flat on the floor. Keep the other leg bent, with the knee on the floor.
  • From this kneeling position, slowly rise and turn your body to sit on the chair or stair.
  • Sit for a few moments before moving further.
  • Finally, talk to your doctor about getting a fall-risk evaluation. If you’ve fallen once, the chance of falling again increases.

Remember that if you need assistance, you can just press the Lifeline Help Button to summon aid.