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Change Your Habits to Prevent Falls

Two women walking on a path through a park. There are fallen leaves on and around the path, and the older woman is using a walking cane.

The decisions we make and the things we do every day can affect our likelihood of falling. By adopting a few new healthy habits - and dropping bad ones - you'll soon be making decisions that will keep you steady on your feet.

  • Get at least 15 minutes of simple exercise each day.
  • Join a balance and exercise program, like tai chi or "A Matter of Balance."
  • Ask your health care provider for a falls risk assessment. Use our Falls Risk Self-Assessment to start the conversation.
  • Slow down and think through the task you are performing. Be mindful of possible falls risks and act accordingly.
  • Eat a balanced diet and say hydrated.
  • Stop at curbs and check the height before stepping up or down. Watch the incline at curb cut-aways and ramps.
  • Keep at least one hand free for balance while walking, even if that means extra trips upstairs or to the car.
  • Don’t try to multi-task (such as use your cell phone or take off your coat, etc.) while walking or climbing stairs.
  • When you get out of a car, swing both legs out, place both feet on the ground and use your hands for support.
  • Move slowly when you get out of your bed or chair. Getting up suddenly can make you dizzy.
  • If you are going out alone, carry a cell phone. Know who you will call if you fall, and make sure that person knows what to do if you call.
  • Get and use a cane or a walker if you have trouble walking or standing for long periods. Use the walker or cane when you are out and about, as well as at home.
  • Learn how to prevent falls with pets in your home.