Fall Safety for Seniors: What to Know and What to Do


Spend time in a Prestige Senior Living Community, and you’ll see residents taking art classes, doing some gardening, and playing beanbag baseball.

In addition to the myriad activities that are fun and engaging, there are other classes where the topic is less about fun, but vital to their wellbeing: fitness and fall reduction classes. Fitness is one of the most effective ways to help reduce the chances of falling for an older adult.

Lowering that risk is vital, as falling represents one of the most pressing health concerns facing seniors. Every year, millions of older adults in the United States suffer injuries from falls, including death.

In some cases, falls are caused by tripping hazards like cords or furniture. In other instances, it’s the diminishment of muscle mass that naturally occurs as we age.

Fall Reduction Safety Tips

Whether your the concerns you have for falling are in regard to yourself or a loved one, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of falling.

Recently, we went over six tips you can implement right now to help reduce your chances of falling. Among those was fall-proofing your home, and you can see a full checklist on things to look for that could pose a hazard.

Whether you’re an older adult yourself, or a loved one or caregiver, it’s vital to open the lines of communication about the risk of falling. It can mean changes to lifestyle, or changes to the home, but it’s vital to ensure that fall safety is top of mind.

What To Do In The Event Of A Fall

While you can take every safety precaution, exercise regularly and do all the right things, you or a loved one could still sustain a fall. Unfortunately, even being as safe as possible, the reality of aging is such that you can never take the risk for granted.

A fall can be a traumatic experience, particularly if you live alone. If that’s the case, it’s important to remember some vital tips if you do fall:

-First and foremost: stay calm. Take deep breaths and don’t panic. We know that’s easier said than done, but you need to be aware of your surroundings in order to help yourself. Before attempting to move, pause to gather yourself.

-Assess yourself for injuries. If you feel you’ve sustained a serious injury, press an emergency alert button if you have one, or if you have a cellphone with you, call 911. If you don’t have a cellphone and can get to a nearby phone by crawling, do so as safely as possible.

-If you haven’t sustained an injury that requires emergency help, roll onto your side and then get on your hands and knees. Find the nearest piece of sturdy furniture and place your hands on it. Use your strongest leg to place your foot on the floor, then push yourself up and pivot to sit on that piece of furniture.

-Stay seated until you’re sure you’re ok, and then notify a loved one about your fall so they can take you to a doctor for an examination.

The last point is an important one: falls shouldn’t remain a secret. Many older adults are embarrassed to admit they’ve suffered a fall, but if you fall once, odds are it will happen again – studies show that falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

With that in mind, if you escape a fall with no injuries, you may not be as lucky next time. If it’s time to consider senior living, Prestige’s commitment to safety and fall reduction classes can help you stay safe.

Safety First At Prestige

At Prestige, we seek to reduce both extrinsic and intrinsic sources of these occurrences.

Upon moving to a Prestige community, our residents undergo a physical assessment to gauge their fitness and their risk of falling and are then directed to appropriate exercise and fall reduction classes.

Fall reduction is at the heart of everything we do. Our apartments are designed to incorporate safety features that minimize fall risk, such as grab bars in bathrooms and clear walkways in the apartments and around the communities. In addition, our health services teams make sure they are always up to date on any changes to residents’ health.

Our residents also take part in exercise and fall reduction classes to build and maintain strength and flexibility, improve balance and increase mobility, as well as identify and mitigate other individual fall risks.

Residents are directed to Energize Exercise classes that can be done while seated, standing or a combination of both, ensuring that no matter someone’s physical state, they are participating in exercises that suit their abilities and help keep them safe.

According to the CDC, older adults should participate in 150 minutes of fitness each week. While that may seem like a lot, it equates to 30 minutes, five times a week. Older adults should do a combination of cardio, strength and balance exercises. At Prestige, our wellness teams ensure residents meet, or exceed, that recommended total.

Find the location nearest you to schedule a tour, where you’ll learn more about the community’s safety precautions and fall reduction classes.