“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” We’ve all seen the ads. But have we really thought about how a fall could disrupt our daily activities and what it could mean for our health?

The good news is, an increased risk of falls and other accidents doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of aging. Check out these tips for avoiding falls and broken bones.

  1. Stay physically active. Regular exercise improves coordination, agility and muscle strength. It also helps keep your joints, tendons and ligaments flexible.
  2. Have your vision and hearing tested. Even small changes in your vision and hearing may cause you to fall. If you need glasses and/or hearing aids, be sure to wear them, and take time to adjust when your get new ones.
  3. Check for prescription side effects. If a drug makes you sleepy or dizzy, tell your doctor or pharmacist. There may be an alternative medication, or you may be able to adjust when you take it.
  4. Limit how much alcohol you drink. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your balance and reflexes.
  5. Stand up slowly. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop, and make you feel wobbly.
  6. Use a cane or walker, if you need one. Appropriate use of an assistive device can prevent falls. A physical or occupational therapist can help you decide which devices might be helpful and teach you how to use them safely.
  7. Wear the right footgear. Avoid walking around the house in your socks or slippers with smooth soles. Non-skid, rubber-soled, low-heeled shoes, or lace-up shoes that fully support your feet are usually best.