Older Adults: Stay Steady, Stay Strong

Many falls can be prevented. Lower your chances of falling by making some easy changes to stay independent and strong.

Begin a regular fall prevention or exercise program.

  • Improve balance and make your legs stronger to lower your risks from falling. These activities also help you feel better and more confident.
  • New York State supports free evidence-based classes that can be found in most communities. Finding activities you enjoy, such as yoga, swimming, dance, or even walking can be helpful.

Talk to your healthcare provider.

  • Ask your healthcare provider for recommendations on fall prevention activities or physical therapy.
  • Talk with your healthcare provider or pharmacist to review all the medicines you take. Some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can make you sleepy or dizzy and increase the risk of falling.

Have your vision and feet checked.

  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. Changes in your vision can increase your chances of falling.
  • Have your healthcare provider check your feet once a year. Discuss proper footwear, and ask whether seeing a foot specialist is advised.

Make your home safer.

  • Remove things you can trip over (like papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where you walk.
  • Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  • Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
  • Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to see well. Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
  • Have handrails and lights put in all staircases.
  • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.

Fall prevention classes

Tai Chi for Arthritis

Tai Chi is an excellent place for a beginner to start on your wellness journey. This program will focus on movements that can improve your muscular strength, flexibility, and overall fitness level. Classes can help improve your pain by increasing your muscle strength and flexibility, along with increasing the fitness of your heart, lungs, and muscles.

Stepping On

Stepping On is a course for adults 60 years or older who live independently. This is a 7-week course (one 2-hour session per week) falls prevention program led by trained leaders. Stepping on helps you handle the fall risks in your life and wants you to Stay strong. Stay balanced. Stay independent.

A Matter of Balance

A Matter of Balance is a course to help reduce your fear of falling and to increase activity levels. This course meets 8 times for 2-hour sessions and is led by a trained facilitator. Throughout the course you will learn to view falls as controllable, set goals to increase activity, make changes at home to reduce fall risks, and to exercise to increase strength and balance.

Contact (518) 402-7900 or email injury@health.ny.gov to help find programs in your area.