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Avoiding falls at home

Simple safety: Avoiding falls at home

Falls among older adults are a serious issue. A lot of these falls happen at home. But the good news is that there are steps you can take to help keep yourself safe.

Stay active

One of the best ways to prevent falls is to stay physically active. Exercise strengthens your muscles and promotes good balance. And you don’t need to train like an Olympic athlete to get there. Even regular, moderate exercise at your own pace can greatly improve your health. 

Aetna makes it simple, offering benefits like the SilverSneakers® program. SilverSneakers gives you access to over 15,000 gyms nationwide, at no extra cost, and includes classes like yoga, tai chi and strength training. If no facilities are near you, you can get a home exercise kit, which includes a DVD, instructions and any equipment you need.

See positive results

Vision issues are one of the leading causes of falls.1 You don’t need to have the eyes of an eagle to avoid them, but it is important to have clear vision. Make sure to have your eyes checked regularly and update the prescription of your glasses whenever necessary.

Open communication is key

If you don’t want to talk about falls, you’re not alone. Many people feel embarrassed that they’ve experienced a fall or are afraid to talk about the topic.1 But keeping a channel open with your doctor can be very helpful. Let them know if you’ve fallen in the past and what the situation was around the incident. 

Talk about your medications and how they affect you – especially if any make you dizzy, weak or affect your balance. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor for suggestions on how to avoid falls in the future. They understand and are your best ally in keeping you safe and healthy.

Falls are the number one cause of injuries among older Americans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and over fall each year.1

Staying safe at home

The majority of falls occur in the home.2 This can be especially dangerous for people who live alone. There are several simple changes you can make in your space to improve safety and prevent falls at home. And it doesn’t require a full remodel.

Some things you can do to help keep you safe in your home:

  • Install grab bars and hand rails wherever needed
  • Clean up clutter, especially around the floor in high traffic areas like stairs and hallways
  • Repair or remove tripping hazards like electrical cords or loose floor boards
  • Remove or secure small, movable rugs
  • Ensure that your home is well-lit 
  • Add non-slip matts or tread in potentially slippery areas
  • Avoid clothing that is too loose, that bunches or drags on the floor
  • Wear shoes that fit and have tread: socks are comfy, but slippery
  • Keep items in cabinets that you can reach without using a step stool

Healthy Home Visits

There are other ways to decrease your chances of a fall at home as well. For example, part of every Aetna Healthy Home Visit includes an inspection of potentially dangerous hazards in your home. These services and other simple steps can help prevent falls, avoid trips to the emergency room, and maintain your independence: all with the goal of keeping you healthy in your home for longer.

To schedule a Healthy Home Visit, simply call us at 1-800-663-0885 (TTY: 711), Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 9 PM ET.

1 Centers for Disease Control. Accessed 3/8/2019.

2 National Council on Aging. Accessed 3/8/2019.


This material is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Health information programs provide general health information and are not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment by a physician or other health care professional. Contact a health care professional with any questions or concerns about specific health care needs. 


     Page last updated: March 3, 2021