Preventing Falls Room to Room
Many falls happen at home, where we spend much of our time and tend to move around without thinking about our safety. There are many changes you can make to your home that will help prevent falls and better ensure your safety.
Floors, stairways, and hallways
- Ensure there are handrails on both sides of any stairs, and make sure they are secure. Hold the handrails when you go up or down stairs, even when you are carrying something. Don’t let anything you’re carrying block your view of the steps.
- Ensure there is good lighting with light switches at the top and bottom of stairs and on each end of a long hall.
- Keep areas where you walk tidy. Don’t leave books, papers, clothes, or shoes on the floor or stairs.
- Check that all carpets are fixed firmly to the floor, so they won’t slip. Put no-slip strips, which you can buy at any hardware store, on tile and wooden floors.
- Don’t use throw rugs or small area rugs.
- Mount grab bars near toilets and on both the inside and outside of your tub and shower.
- Place nonskid mats, strips, or carpet on all surfaces that may get wet.
- Remember to leave a light on in the bathroom at night or use a night light that turns on automatically in the dark.
- Put night lights and light switches close to your bed.
- Keep a flashlight by your bed in case the power goes out and you need to get up.
- Place a landline or well-charged phone near your bed.
- Keep frequently used pots, pans, and kitchen utensils in a place where they are easy to reach.
- Clean up spills immediately.
- Prepare food while seated to prevent fatigue or loss of balance.
- If you have steps leading to your front door, make sure they are not broken or uneven.Add non‐slip material to outdoor stairways.
- Keep the lawn, deck, or porch areas clear of debris, such as fallen branches.
- Consider installing a grab bar near the front door to provide balance while you are locking or unlocking the door.
- Turn on your porch light at night and if you leave during the day but plan on returning home after dark.
- In the winter, treat outdoor walkways with an ice melt product or sand to make them less slippery.
Health & Wellness
Know Your Fall Risk & Bone Health
Did you know you have the power to lower your risk of falling? Take a 2-minute Falls Free CheckUp to see what causes falls and how to prevent them.
In a 2018 study by the CDC, 1 in 4 older adults reported falling – that equaled to about 36 million falls. Of those, more than 8 million falls required medical attention or limited activity for at least a day.
Bone health is one aspect of aging that influences fall risk and potential injury if a fall were to occur. Take the fracture risk calculator to identify risks and how to improve your bone health.
There are ways that individuals can help maintain healthy bones through healthy eating and exercise.
Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D go a long way toward maintaining bone strength. But exercise — especially activities that make you move your own body weight against gravity — also stimulates bones to get stronger and stay that way.
Low-impact exercises are safe for older adults and can also keep bones strong. These include:
- walking briskly outdoors or on a treadmill
- climbing stairs on a machine
- doing gentle aerobics
- using elliptical training machines
Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do each day to maintain and improve your health and keep doing things you enjoy as you age. Make exercise a priority with the following tips:
- Find ways to fit exercise into your day. You are more likely to get moving if exercise is a convenient part of your day.
- Do activities you enjoy to make it more fun.
- Be creative and try something new!
- Make it social.
- Find a virtual “exercise buddy” to help keep you going and provide emotional support.
- If there’s a break in your routine, get back on track.
- Start slowly and gradually build back up to your previous level of activity. Ask your family and friends for support.
- Keep track of your progress.
- Make an exercise plan and don’t forget to reward yourself when you reach your goals.
Nutrition and Fall Prevention
Did you know that good nutrition can decrease your fall risk? Nutrition deficiencies may increase your risk of falling due to the impact on strength and mobility. We’ve highlighted a few nutrients that play a role in keeping your body strong and healthy along with some tasty recipes that can help you jump start your nutritional journey.
Protein – Protein helps build and repair your body. Eating nutritious foods protects bones, joints, and muscles while increasing strength and stamina. Protein options include lean beef, chicken, pork, seafood, eggs, beans, nuts and soy products.
A great recipe to try is the Half Veggie Burgers. This recipe combines the strength of veggie burger and beef burgers into one low-cost, high protein burger.
Vitamin D – Our bones naturally weaken as we age, but there are ways to keep our bones strong and healthy to prevent falls. Getting enough vitamin D helps build and maintain strong bones, without vitimin D, you can’t absorb calcium from foods. Some great sources of vitamin D include being out in the sun and eating trout, salmon, sardines, tuna, eggs, fortified low fat milk, orange juices and cereals.
The breakfast frittata combines many foods rich in vitamin D and protein and provides enough servings for use throughout the week, just heat any leftovers for a quick breakfast.
Calcium – Calcium keeps muscles and bones strong and works with vitamin D. Getting enough calcium is essential for bone strength and plays a vital role in preventing fractures which will help reduce your risk of falling.
While milk and milk products provide the highest levels of calcium, you can also look at other sources for a variety. Broccoli is a great vegetable that can addalcium in your diet. Try this broccoli salad for a change of pace.
Staying hydrated is an important factor in reducing falls and can prevent low blood pressure, dizziness and fatigue, all of which can contribute to a fall.
Try this refreshing water recipe below.
Agency on Aging Area 4 Workshops
Meet Your Agency on Aging Area 4 Instructors
Brittany is originally from Orange County, CA and moved to Sacramento to attend Sacramento State University. She graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in Gerontology and Dietetics. She was hired by AAA4 in December 2018 as the Nutrition Services Coordinator for the CalFresh Healthy Living Program. In 2022, Brittany became the Health Promotion Specialist overseeing the CalFresh Healthy Living and Health Promotion Programs.
Bobby is the Mature Edge Job Readiness Coordinator for the Agency on Aging Area 4 with over a decade of successful experience in training older adults in the art of marketing themselves. Bobby’s marketing career over the span of 46 years has led her to a niche very much needed in today’s job market. Bobby specializes in being a strong believer in the power of positive thinking. Regularly training and developing clients, she assists older adults with effective techniques. Bobby enjoys a good Netflix binge but can also be found in the kitchen creating her next gourmet delight.
Julie Tharalson, RD
Julie Tharalson is a Registered Dietitian with almost 30 years’ experience in clinical and public health nutrition. She has been with the Agency on Aging Area 4 for 10 years. Part of her focus is health education which involves teaching people how to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. In addition to her training as a dietitian, Julie also trained as a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. She uses her unique background to show people how to prepare simple, delicious, and inexpensive meals for themselves.
Christina is originally from Monterey County, CA and moved to Sacramento to attend Sacramento State University. She graduated with bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology: Exercise Science. Christina has spent the last 8 years working with older adults in the for-profit sector. She was hired by AAA4 in July 2022 as a Health Promotion Instructor for the CalFresh Healthy Living Program.
Janet Johnson-Yosgott, MPH
Janet is originally from El Segundo, CA and relocated to Sacramento to raise her family. She graduated from California State University Northridge with her master’s degree in public health. Janet has extensive experience in health promotion and wellness in hospital, non-profit and health plan settings. She was hired by AAA4 in July 2022 as a Health Promotion Instructor for the Fall Prevention initiatives as well as health promotion programs.
Health Promotion Workshops
Bingocize: Do you enjoy playing Bingo? Join us for the next virtual Bingocize series that combines the game of bingo with physical activity and fall prevention education!
A Matter of Balance: Do you have concerns about falling? Join us for this evidence-based falls prevention class to reduce your risk of falling and increase your activity levels.
Live Strong and Safe: Join us for a one hour presentation that provides a comprehensive overview of fall prevention, including home safety and medication management.
Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP): Do you or someone you love have diabetes? Do you want to learn how to be in charge of your diabetes rather than letting it run your life? The DEEP series helps people with pre-diabetes, diabetes, relatives, and caregivers gain a better understanding of diabetes self-care.
CalFresh Healthy Living Workshops
Cooking Matters: in Your Community: Are you interested about learning new, budget-friendly, delicious recipes? The recipes are healthy and packed with fruits and vegetables! Join us for the next Cooking Matters series!
Eat Smart, Live Strong: Are you interested in learning the basics of healthy eating and stretching your food dollars for healthy food options? Eat Smart, Live Strong teaches this and much more, join us for the next series!
Food Smarts: Are you familiar with basic nutrition and want to dive in deeper? Food Smarts expands on the basics of nutrition and provides participants with the tools and knowledge to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Come join us at the next Food Smarts series!
Fall Prevention Awareness Week Webinar
Agency on Aging \ Area 4 will be hosting our first Fall Prevention Awareness Week Webinar! Join us on Monday, September 18th at 10:30AM to kick off Fall Prevention Awareness Week! Guest speakers will include:
- Kris Ritualo with AARP’s HomeFit Program
- Janet Johnson-Yosgott, MPH with AAA4’s Live Strong and Safe Program
- Marna Ghiglieri, OTR/L, CAPS with Rebuilding Together Sacramento
- Riley Stoltenburg, MPH with StopFalls Sacramento
The flyer for this event is attached below, as well as the Zoom link to register for this event.
Fall Prevention Awareness Week Workshop Series
AAA4 will be hosting two virtual workshops after the Fall Prevention Awareness Week Webinar. See details below.
Live Strong & Safe
Tuesday, September 19th from 1-2PM
Live Strong & Safe is a one session workshop that provides a comprehensive overview of fall prevention, including home safety and medication management.
A Matter of Balance
Tuesdays, October 3rd- Nov 21st from 9:30-11:30AM
A Matter of Balance is a program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase activity levels among older adults. The program enables participants to achieve significant goals. They gain confidence by learning to:
- View falls as controllable
- Set goals for increasing activity
- Make changes to reduce fall risk at home
- Exercise to increase strength and balance
Tuesdays and Thursdays, October 3rd – Dec 12th from 2:30-3:30PM
Virtual Bingocize®, a free evidence-based program that combines a bingo-like game with exercise and health education. Bingocize will meet 2X/week for 10 weeks. Have fun and reap health benefits – the program has been shown to increase functional fitness, health knowledge, and social engagement.
Participants must have a smartphone, computer, or tablet, as well as access to WIFI.
GetSetUp Free Online Classes
GetSetUp classes are taught by older adults, for older adults. They’re retired educators or experienced presenters. The classes are both informative and fun!
All classes are free and sponsored by Agency on Aging \ Area 4. Use the coupon code: “area4-ca” to waive any fees associated with the classes.Minute
GetSetUp Class Updates, click on links below to register for class!
5 Essential Foods to Help Stay Healthy
Saturday, September 9th at 9:00AM
30-Minute Morning Workout for Better Balance & Flexibility
Sunday, September 10th at 7:00AM
Yoga for Flexibility and Balance
Friday, September 15th at 7:00AM
Tai Chi – Shibashi
Saturday, September 16th at 8:00AM
Slow and Steady: Improve Balance & Reduce Injury Risk
Monday, September 18th at 2:00PM
Osteoporisis: Prevention & Management
Tuesday, September 19th at 3:00PM
Exercises for Osteoporisis
Tuesday, September 26th at 7:00AM
Classes are also available in Spanish and Mandarin.
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Partially Funded by USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, an equal opportunity provider and employer.