Office for the Aging


Reducing Falls: Simple Steps You Can Take Today

  1. “Winterize” shoes, boots, and assistive devices
    • Attach spikeless ice and snow shoe gripper sole covers to shoes for extra stability when walking on slippery surfaces. Look for these at sporting goods stores.
    • Attach an ice gripper cane tip that has spikes on the bottom to penetrate the ice and secure a firm grip. Ice grip tips can be purchased online.
    • Choose winter shoes with rubber soles to maintain traction on slippery surfaces.
    • Try this inexpensive way to make wheelchair snow tires.

  2. Carry kitty litter for slick surfaces
    Encourage older adults to carry a zip top bag filled with a lightweight kitty litter in their pocket and cast it out ahead of themselves on slick surfaces.

  3. Screen older adults for fall risk
    Health care providers: begin to check ALL older adults with for fall risk as part of your normal intake.

  4. Give the gift of falls prevention
    Encourage adult children to give fall-proofing gifts to their parents:
    • Fall alarm systems that are motion triggered without hitting a button
    • Higher toilets in the home
    • Replace multifocal glasses with single vision eyeglass lenses
    • Grab bars in bathroom and next to outside steps or inside thresholds
    • Install firm stair railings on both sides of stairways and set automatic lights over stairways and by outside entrances
    • Cover the entryway to the home and provide a table to set down bags while finding keys
    • Shorter days mean more time in the dark—give tiny flashlights to attach to keys, hats, and coat buttons