Fall Prevention

Every day in Rockland County, about five older adults visit the Emergency Room for treatment of a fall-related injury.  Two out of five are hurt badly enough and need to stay in the hospital, often because the fall caused a hip fracture or brain injury. In New York State, falls are the leading cause of injury for those over 65. The good news is... falls can be prevented! 

We offer the free nationally recognized A Matter of Balance Fall Prevention Program. Trained facilitators conduct eight, two-hour sessions for 10 to 12 participants. You will learn how to:

  • Reduce your fear of falling
  • Set realistic goals for increasing your activity
  • Do simple exercises to increase your strength and balance
  • Change your environment to reduce your risk of falling
Call (845) 364- 2500 for more information. 

Here are some ways to prevent a fall: 

  • Get up slowly; before moving forward, take a second to balance yourself, and count to ten before you take a step.
  • Wear sturdy, well-fitting shoes with low heels and non-slip soles.
  • Sit down to put your pants on.
  • Increase physical activity – regular exercise increases balance and strength.
  • Get regular vision and hearing checkups.
  • Review your medications annually with your doctor. Some medications have side effects that can cause dizziness.
  • Stay indoors when sidewalks and roads are icy. 
  • Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs and clutter from your walkways and stairs.
  • Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  • Have grab bars installed next to the toilet and in the tub or shower.
  • Have handrails on both sides of stairways and improve lighting in your entire home.
  • Ask for help if you need to reach items on high shelves or use a "reacher" (a device to help you), rather than stand on unsteady chairs or ladders. Keep items you use the most within reach.

Medicare covers fall risk assessment and referrals - called STEADI – Stopping Elderly Accidents, Deaths & Injuries. Ask your doctor about this at your next check-up.

Remember, falls are not accidents and can be prevented!  For more information on fall prevention talk with your doctor or call the New York State Department of Health at (518) 402-7900 or e-mail injury@health.state.ny.us, or visit: