Unintentional falls represent the highest cause of reported injuries in both Washoe County and Nevada, and the leading cause of injury-related deaths for American seniors, age 65+ (CDC). The risk of dying from an unintentional fall dramatically increases with age. Most unintentional falls occur within the home residence.

Here are some simple steps you can do for yourself or your loved ones to help prevent falls:

1. Fall-proof your home: Make simple modifications to your home to prevent falls by:
  • Removing all tripping hazards such as throw and area rugs. Keep all walkways clean and tidy.
  • Installing assistive handrails, grab bars in bathrooms and on stairs. Use non-skid mats.
  • Installing night lights in bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways. Light up your living spaces!
  • Use this Home Safety Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults

2. Regularly review any over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and prescription medications with your pharmacist or healthcare provider. Many medications and dietary supplements are a common cause of falls, or injury from falling.  Fact Sheet on Medications Linked to Falls

3. Do exercises regularly that improve your balance, strength, and mobility – such as Stepping On, Fit & Strong, or Tai Ji Quan

4. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink. Alcohol diminishes balance, reflexes, and judgement that will increase your risk of falling, as well as causing other chronic health issues.
Other risk factors for falls include:

  • Eyesight, hearing, and reflex problems
  • Conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, or problems with your thyroid, nerves, feet, or blood vessels
  • Older adults with certain types of dementia are at higher risk of falling
  • Age-related loss of muscle mass
  • Foot problems that cause discomfort

Senior Falls Prevention Videos

Falls Prevention Fact Sheets (English | Español)

Additional Resources

Last modified on 03/05/2024