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Preventing Falls: How to Prepare and What to Do

Falling is not something you want to think about. But it can make a big difference to plan ahead. If you’re prepared, you’ll know how to get help. And you’ll be less likely to panic if you fall. This means you’ll be able to do what’s needed to get help right away.

How to Prepare

Hand holding cell phone.

  • Have someone check on you daily.

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers near the phone.

  • Always have a way to call for help. Keep a cell phone with you at all times. Or talk with your health care provider about how to set up a home monitoring service. This involves wearing a small device around your neck. If you fall, you can press the button on the device. This alerts emergency responders.

  • Make changes in your living space to reduce your risk of falls. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Here is a list of supplies you may need. At these stores, you can also find professionals who can help with installations. 

Hardware Store

  • Grab bars

  • Handrails

  • Nightlights and light fixtures

  • Cart with wheels

Flooring Supply Store

  • Nonskid carpet pads

  • Double-sided carpet tape or carpet tacks

Medical Supply Store

  • Raised toilet seat

  • Bath seat or shower chair

  • Bedside commode

What to Do If You Fall

Above all, try to stay calm.

  • If you start to fall, try to relax your body. This will reduce the impact of the fall.

  • After you fall, press your monitor button, or phone for help.

  • Don’t rush to get up. First, make sure you’re not hurt.

  • Be sure to get checked by your health care provider for any injuries.

A Note to Family and Friends

If you’re with a loved one when he or she starts to fall, don’t try to stop the fall. Ease the person to the floor carefully, so neither of you gets hurt. Don’t leave the person alone. And don’t try to move him or her. Put a pillow under his or her head. Check for injuries. If help is needed right away, be sure to call 911.


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