Preventing Falls in Older Adults

COVID-19 and Preventing Falls: Staying Safe While Staying Home

One in three older New Yorkers experience falls, and most of these falls happen at home. Prepare to safely stay inside during the COVID-19 response with these fall prevention tips:

  • Home Safety: Find and fix trip and fall hazards in your home. If you are working from home, be careful of computer and electrical wires. Coil the wires next to the wall and tape them down if you can.
  • Physical Activity: Be active! Physical activity is a great way to prevent falls and there are many exercises that can be done at home.

  • Care for Your Feet: Wear the proper footwear, even at home. Learn more about how to keep your feet healthy.

  • Medicine Safety: Continue your medicine routine. It is important to manage your medications and take all your prescriptions. Pharmacies remain open and many are offering free delivery. Call your pharmacist to discuss refills and possible delivery options.

Every year, one in three Americans aged 65 and older experiences a fall. In New York City, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death and hospitalization for older adults. In addition to serious injuries and deaths, falls can affect the quality of life for older adults, sometimes making it harder for them to live independently. Although falls are common, they do not need to be a normal part of aging. Falls are preventable and everyone can help older adults avoid them.

Preventing falls for seniors is a priority for a number of city-wide initiatives including OneNYC, Take Care New York 2020 and Age-friendly NYC. Learn more about the Health of Older Adults in New York City (PDF).

Tips and Strategies

Falls can happen for many reasons. The main factors that can lead to falls include:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Trouble with mobility or balance
  • Side effects of medications
  • Fear of falling.

You can prevent falls by:

Learn how you can protect yourself and gain confidenceIn Case of a Fall.

Caregivers and Providers

If you are taking care of an older adult, check out the Department of Heath’s tips and resources for new and experienced caregivers.

New York City Falls Prevention Coalition

The New York City Falls Prevention Coalition brings together partners from across different sectors to leverage information and resources to reduce the incidence and burden of falls among vulnerable populations. For more information, contact the Falls Prevention Coalition at fallsprevention@health.nyc.gov.

Additional Resources

More Information

To get free falls prevention documents by mail, call 311.