Preventing Falls for Seniors

During the winter months, you may find that the Fredericksburg area has days in which roads, pavement, and grassy areas are covered in snow and ice. This means that normally safe places can become areas that are potentially dangerous for people caught unaware, especially seniors. Central Rappahannock Regional Library, in partnership with Mary Washington Healthcare, offers a number of informational resources on fall prevention for seniors and their caregivers, including videos and books. You can learn how to use balancing skills to prevent painful and costly injuries, what risk factors for a fall may exist with physical conditions and body sensations, and how to analyze your own behavior and make changes in your environment. With education and keen awareness of yourself and your surroundings, you can prevent many falls and injuries.

Additional Online Resources and Videos

Along with the above four-minute video, there are many additional online resources available through the CDC and other health institutions that can help you stay safe and maintain your mobility. A good starting point is the Older Adult Fall Prevention page. Here, you can find basic facts and data on the risks and costs of falls, the dangers of hip fractures, and a collection of resources and publications on preventing falls. STEADI (Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths, and Injuries) provides a series of printable brochures that deal with how seniors can stay independent, check their surroundings for safety, and find ways to manage postural hypotension (a form of low blood pressure that may happen when you stand up from sitting or lying down). 

The National Council on Aging has several fall prevention resources, including a “6 Steps to Prevent a Fall” infographic, documents on osteoporosis and its impact on falls and fall prevention, and home safety assessment tools for making your house a safer place. SeniorNavigator offers links to local programs and services on fall prevention, as well as online videos, articles, and a free book you can order from the National Institute on Aging. Caregivers may find the online Falls Prevention Guide particularly useful, as it gives planning steps for creating a falls prevention plan and steps with talking about falls prevention with your loved ones.

CRRL Resources on Fall Prevention

CRRL’s collection has some books on fall prevention that you may find helpful. These titles can help seniors (and caregivers) understand physical changes in their bodies that put them at more risk for a fall, specific means for preventing a fall, and various techniques to strengthen their bodies and maintain muscle strength.

There is a 19-minute video on Fall Prevention, available through our Kanopy streaming service, but be aware this is designed for staff at assisted living facilities rather than seniors living in their own homes. The eBook Understanding and Preventing Falls is more broadly useful; it provides a synopsis of the likely effects of aging and vision changes on balance and also advises how seniors can prevent falls in various circumstances. Exercises for Better Balance is designed for individuals over the age of 65 to help improve posture, motor control, and balance. Better Balance for Life suggests daily activities and movements seniors can incorporate into their routines to increase their flexibility and range of motion.