Brochure on the Prevention of Falls in the Elderly

Author: Monica Preboth
Date: August 15, 2000

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published a new brochure on the prevention of falls in the elderly. "What You Can Do to Prevent Falls" was designed specifically for older adults to provide tips on fall prevention.

The brochure outlines four main tips: (1) begin a regular exercise program; (2) make your home safer; (3) have your health care professional review your medicines; and (4) have your vision checked. According to the brochure, exercise is important in the prevention of falls because it can improve balance, strength and coordination. Because one half of all falls happen at home, the brochure suggests that older persons remove objects that can be tripped over, install handrails and lights in staircases and bathrooms, and wear supportive, non-slip shoes. The NCIPC encourages older persons to work with physicians and pharmacists to examine their medications to be sure that they will not make the patient drowsy or light-headed. Finally, the brochure stresses that poor vision can increase the chances of falling; therefore, older patients should be checked for glaucoma, cataracts and the correct vision prescription.

For more information, write to the NCIPC at Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy., NE, Mailstop K-63, Atlanta, GA 30341, or visit the NCIPC Web site (http://

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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