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Preventing falls - what to ask your doctor

Definition

Many people with medical problems are at risk of falling or tripping. This can leave you with broken bones or more serious injuries. You can do many things to make your home safer for you.

Below are some questions you may want to ask your doctor or nurse to help keep your home safe for you.

Alternate Names

Fall prevention - what to ask your doctor; What to ask your doctor about preventing falls

Questions

Am I taking any medicines that will make me sleepy, dizzy, or lightheaded?

Are there exercises I can do to make me stronger or improve my balance to help prevent falls?

Where in my home do I need to make sure there is enough light?

How can I make my bathroom safer? Do I need a shower chair? Do I need a raised toilet seat? Do I need help when I take a shower or bath?

Do I need bars on the walls in the shower, by the toilet, or in the hallways?

Is my bed low enough? Do I need a hospital bed? Do I need a bed on the first floor so I do not need to climb stairs?

How can I make the stairs at my house safer?

Is it okay to have pets in the home?

What are other things that I may trip over?

What can I do about any uneven floors?

Do I need help with cleaning, cooking, laundry, or other household chores?

Should I use a cane or a walker?

What should I do if I fall? How can I keep my phone near me?


Review Date: 2/12/2013
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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