Preventing Falls: Conversation starters

Worrying about the health and safety of an older family member or friend can be stressful. Use these tips to talk to your loved one about preventing falls.

Begin by saying, “I care about you.”

“You are important to me. I don’t want you to fall and get hurt.”

“One in 3 older adults falls each year. Most falls happen at home.”

“There are steps you can take – like getting more exercise – to prevent falls and protect yourself. Getting active will help you feel better and stay independent.”

Talk about 4 ways to prevent falls.

“Exercise can help you improve your balance and strength.”

“Ask your doctor to review your medicines. Some medicines can make you sleepy or dizzy and cause you to fall.”

“Get your vision checked by an eye doctor at least once a year. You might need to update your glasses or contacts.”

“Making your home safer can also help protect you. For example, put non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower.”

Offer to help.

Here are some ideas:

    • Help your loved one collect all of his medicines and put them in a bag to take to his next doctor’s visit.


    • Go with your loved one to get her vision checked.


    • Install railings or grab bars on both sides of the stairs, inside and outside of the bathtub, and next to the toilet – or help your loved one find someone else to do it, like a professional contractor.


    • Sign up for a tai chi (“ty chee”) class together. Tai chi is a Chinese exercise that involves moving the body slowly and gently.


    • Move your loved one’s telephone closer to the bed or a favorite chair.


    • Help move furniture around so the walking paths are clear.


    • Help pick up clothes, books, and other items from the floor and stairs. This will help keep your loved one from tripping.