An important fall-prevention measure is a thorough walk-through of the home to identify trouble spots. Clear away clutter and items like loose wires, cords, and throw rugs. Stairs should be sturdy with strong railings. Stairways, entrances, and walkways should be well lit, and bedrooms, bathrooms, and hallways should have night-lights. Consider motion-sensitive lights that come on when a person enters a room. Or put light switches at the doorway.
Install grab bars in the shower or tub, and put nonskid mats on bathroom floors. A shower chair can be helpful, too. A raised toilet seat with arms can prevent falls if getting on and off the toilet is difficult. In the kitchen and other areas of the house, frequently used items should be in easy-to-reach cabinets. A grasping tool is a better way to get at out-of-reach items than a chair or stepladder.
Regular eye exams and proper eyewear will help a person steer clear of hazards. Flat, rubber-soled shoes improve balance and offer much-needed traction. Limiting or eliminating alcohol can help as well. Talk with the doctor about whether any medications you are taking could impair balance. Viruses and illnesses that affect the inner ear can cause dizziness, too.
It's also helpful to work on improving balance. Do simple balance exercises daily, and consider strength training, yoga, or tai chi, if possible. Numerous studies show that strengthening muscles and improving flexibility and coordination enhance balance at every age. Better balance means fewer falls and may encourage walking and other activities.