Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Preventing Falls in Older Adults
Every year, thousands of older adults fall and hurt themselves. Falls are one of the main causes of injury and loss of independence in people ages 65 and older.
There are many reasons older people fall. They may lose their footing when stepping off a street curb. Or they may fall after getting dizzy from taking medicines. Some falls may be related to the effects of aging, such as muscle weakness or delayed reflexes. Or falls may be related to the results of a stroke.
Experts agree that some falls in older adults can be prevented. But since each person's risks are a bit different, talk to your doctor about which of the tips below might help you.
For a complete list of hazards to look for
and fix at home, see the
checklist for preventing falls(What is a PDF document?).
Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.
Other Works Consulted
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and American Academy of Pediatrics (2010). Falls and traumatic injuries in the elderly patient. In JF Sarwark, ed., Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care, 4th ed., pp. 96–100. Rosemont, IL: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Graham P, et al. (2010). The prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In WR Frontera, ed., DeLisa's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 1, pp. 979–1014. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerElizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS - Geriatric Medicine
Current as ofAugust 4, 2016
Current as of:
August 4, 2016
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Elizabeth A. Phelan, MD, MS - Geriatric Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.