Fall Prevention and Safety

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FALL PREVENTION AND SAFETY

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Falls are the leading cause of hip fractures and traumatic brain injuries among Oregon’s older adults. 
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury and death among those over 65. 
  • Most falls happen at home.

Bend Fire Department offers FREE home consultations for seniors to help reduce the risk of falls through our Seniors Outreach for Seniors (SOS) program, click for more details. Call 541-322-6309 to schedule your FREE consultation.

Click here for a fall prevention brochure.

Click here for a fall prevention home check list.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT FALLS?

  • Take care of yourself
    • Talk to your doctor about your medications and their side effects. 
    • Poor vision increases your chance of falling. See an eye doctor once a year. Clean eyeglasses regularly. 
    • Regular exercise builds strength and improves balance and coordination. Ask your doctor about the best exercise for you. 
  • Keep pathways clear 
    • Keep walking areas clear of loose rugs, cords, shoes, clothing, books, magazines, paper, and other clutter. 
    • Smooth out wrinkles and folds in loose rugs and carpeting. 
    • Wipe up spilled liquids immediately. 
    • Watch out for pets and children. 
  • Slow down 
    • When standing, get your balance before walking. 
    • Get out of chairs slowly. 
    • Sit up a moment before getting out of bed. 
    • Don’t rush to answer the phone or door bell.

DO YOU HAVE THE TOOLS TO PREVENT FALLS?

  • Lighting 
    • Use night lights in walkways. 
    • Stairways should be well lit from top to bottom. 
  • Rugs & Non-slip Mats 
    • Use rugs that have rubber, non-skid backing. 
    • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors. 
  • Handrails & Grab Bars 
    • Have easy to grip handrails installed along the full length of both sides of the stairs. 
    • Have grab bars installed on the wall in the tub and shower, and next to the toilet. 
  • Shoes & Mobility Devices 
    • Wear sturdy, well-fitted, low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles. 
    • Use correct mobility devices: canes, walkers, or wheelchairs.

WHAT IF I FALL?

  • If you fall at home 
    • Stay quiet for a moment–don’t panic. 
    • Decide if you want to try to get up. 
  • If you decide to try to get up 
    • Use strong, stable furniture for support. 
    • After you get up, take time to recover. 
    • Tell someone you had a fall.
    • Get medical help, if necessary. 
  • If you cannot get up, or decide not to try 
    • Slide or crawl to get help if you can. 
    • Tell someone you need help. 
    • After calling for help, remain calm until help arrives. 
    • Keep warm and comfortable. 
    • Get medical help, if necessary

(Courtesy: Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office © 2014)