How Do I Prevent Falls When Outdoors?

Each year about one-third of all people over the age of 65 will fall.  Many of these falls result in broken bones.  Some common causes of falls include outdoor and indoor hazards as well as certain lifestyle behaviors.

 Safety Tips to prevent falls

  • Wear low-heeled shoes with rubber soles for more solid footing (traction), and wear warm boots in winter.
  • Use handrails as you go up and down steps and on escalators.
  • If sidewalks look slippery, walk in the grass for more solid footing.
  • In winter, carry a small bag of rock salt or kosher salt in your pocket or car. You can then sprinkle the salt or kitty litter on sidewalks or streets that are slippery.
  • Look carefully at floor surfaces in public buildings. Floors made of highly polished marble or tile can be very slippery. When these surfaces are wet, they may become dangerous. When floors have plastic or carpet runners in place, stay on them whenever possible.
  • Keep your porch, deck, walkways, and driveway free of leaves, snow, trash or clutter, also keep them in good repair. Cover porch steps with a gritty, weather-proof paint and install handrails on both sides.
  • Turn on the light outside your front door before leaving your home in the early evening so that you have outdoor light when you return after dark.
  • Use a shoulder bag, fanny pack or a backpack purse to leave your hands free.
  • Use a walker or cane as needed.
  • Find out about community services that can provide help, such as 24-hour pharmacies and grocery stores that take orders by phone or internet and deliver, especially in poor weather.
  • Stop at curbs and check the height before stepping up or down. Be careful at curbs that have been cut away to allow access for bikes or wheelchairs. The incline may lead to a fall.
  • Consider wearing hip protectors or hip pads for added protection should you fall.




Balance & Gait Disorders