Dr. Seibel's Health Tips / Health and Fitness

How Not To Fall This Fall

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With Fall in the air, and leaves, ice and snow beginning to layer the ground, the risk of taking a fall begins its season as well. This is particularly true for people over the age of 65 or those who have physical disabilities or reduced vision. One in four people who live at home and are over 65 will fall within the next year and 65% of all falls occur at home.

For women in menopause, men in andropause, or men and women who have osteoporosis, this can lead to a broken hip, hospitalization and even death. As a matter of fact, in the senior population, falls are the leading cause of injury and deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. It can be due to slippery conditions around the home like leaves and black ice, poor balance or poor vision or medications among other things.

Here are some simple things to do to lower both the risk and the consequences of taking a fall:


  • Exercise and condition for more strength, flexibility and balance, and weight loss if you are overweight to ease arthritis and lower the risk of falls
  • Have a bone density test done after age 50 and a blood test for vitamin D to see if you are at risk for osteoporosis which would increase your risk for a broken bone

Around the home:

  • Have the area well plowed and cleared
  • Use sand or salt on outdoor walks and steps in colder climates
  • Carpet any wood or tile floors to cushion a fall and reduce hip fracture risk


  • Have a sturdy plastic seat placed in your shower or tub so can sit down if needed
  • Buy a had-held shower nozzle so you can shower sitting down
  • Place grab bars inside and just outside your shower or bathtub
  • Use a raised toilet seat or one with armrests to steady you


  • Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairways
  • Use nonskid treads on bare-wood steps
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs


  • Check the prescription for your eyeglasses regularly to maintain your best vision
  • Have plenty of light. Keep a lamp near your bed with a switch that is easy to reach and turn on. Be sure to use it when you get up at night
  • Make clear paths to light switches that aren’t near room entrances. Glow-in-the-dark or illuminated switches are very helpful
  • Place night-lights in your bedroom, bathrooms and hallways
  • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages

Find lots more information on falls and other medical emergencies in my new book co-written with Shelly Glazier called Save Your Life: What to Do in A Medical Emergency. It’s a simple to read, easy guide to help you know what to do in a medical emergency, when to call 9-1-1, and what to do after you call.  

© 2012 HealthRock, LLC. HealthRock Publishing ASCAP All Rights Reserved
Editor’s Note:  As Dr. Seibel says, "It’s better to stay well than to get well!" Visit his award-winning site at www.DoctorSeibel.com.

“It’s better to stay well than to get well!”  Mache Seibel, MD.

Dr. Machelle (Mache) Seibel is America’s health expert, addressing the critical needs of consumers from stress and weight control to menopause and beyond. He served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for almost 20 years and is a pioneer in many areas of women’s health and more. He works with companies and organizations to bring exciting educational content to consumers. His professional experiences include:

– Host for PBS and NBC TV episodes, frequent media expert;

– Repeatedly voted into Best Doctors in America;

– Past Editor-in-Chief of the medical journal Sexuality, Reproduction & Menopause;

– Distinguished Alumnus Award, the University of Texas Medical Branch’s highest honor 2008;

– Multiple national awards for research, writing, music writing and patient education;

– Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-present;

– Director, Complicated Menopause Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School 2004-2011;

– Founder of HealthRock®, reshaping health education with health songs and entertainment;

– Past Medical Director, Inverness Medical Innovations (now Alere);

– Corporate Consultant and Corporate Health Expert Nationally and Internationally;

– Author/editor 14 books, over 200 scientific articles;

– American Cancer Society New England Division Medical Advisory Network;

– Advisory board of Dr. Mehmet Oz’s HealthCorps initiative to fight childhood obesity; and

– Nationally known guest speaker, key note speaker.

Visit his award-winning website www.DoctorSeibel.com and sign up for his free monthly newsletter.

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