Falls Prevention

One out of three Montanans over the age 65 fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older adults. Falls are costly—in dollars and in quality of life. Most common injuries sustained from a fall is hip fractures, broken bones, and head injuries. In Montana, unintentional falls is the third most common cause of injury-related deaths.

 Falling is NOT a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented by making lifestyle modifications.

Take the Falls Free Check Up to assess your risk. En español.

Falls Free Checkup Logo

Most falls can be prevented. 

You have the power to reduce your risk and protect your older loved ones from a serious fall. 

Stay safe by following these tips!

6 Steps to Prevent a Fall

1. Start or maintain an exercise program

Doing strength and balance exercises at least 3 times a week is one of the most effective steps you can do to lower your risk of falling.

Some people may feel that if you limit your activity it will reduce your chances of falling but it will increase your risk your chances of falling because yours muscles become weaker, which helps maintain your balance.

2. Talk with your health care provider

Tell your health care provider if you have fallen or have a fear of falling.

Falls prevention is a team effort. Talk with your doctor about falls.

3. Review your medication with your doctor and/or pharmacist

Have your doctor and/or pharmacist review all the medication you take, including over-the-counter medicine, herbal supplements, and vitamins.

Some medicines or combination of medicines can make you feel drowsy, dizzy, or light-headed. These may cause you to lose your balance or feel unsteady on your feet.

Falls prevention is a team effort. Talk with your pharamacist about how medication can affect your risk for falling

4.  Have your vision and hearing checked every year

  • Vision

  • Have your eyes check by an eye doctor at least once a year, and update your eyeglasses if needed.
  • You may be wearing the wrong glasses or have a condition like glaucoma or cataracts that limits your vision.
  • Hearing

  • Hearing loss increases the risk of falls for older adults.

5. Keep your home safe (and how to be safe when outdoors)

Home Safety

Over half of falls happen at home. Making simple changes around your home can decrease your risk of falling.

  • Remove tripping hazards, such as papers, books, clothes, and shoes
  • Tack down or remove rugs
  • Replace dim or non-functioning light bulbs
  • Put handrails on all stairs and steps
  • Install grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower

Home-Safety Resources:

Outdoor Safety

Walking about outside can present challenges. Surfaces may be uneven and variations in sunlight and shade can make it difficult to see clearly. In addition slippery walkways, parking lots, and stairs during winter pose significant fall risk.

Outdoor Safety Resources:

6. Talk with your family

Ask family or a friend for their help check for fall hazards in and around your home and have them help make modifications, if needed.

 Falls prevention is a team effort. Ask family and friends to help check and rid your home of falls hazards.

Stepping On Provider Brochure

What Program Helps to Reduce Falls?

Stepping On is an evidence-based fall prevention program that reduces falls among participants. The Stepping On course is a seven week program designed to help older adults reduce their risk for falls. Participants attend a weekly two hour session that includes an interactive discussion, snacks and story-telling to promote adult learning.

Who Attends  a Stepping On Course?

Anyone who:

  • Is 60 years or over
  • Has had a fall in the past year or is fearful of falling;
  • Is living in a home or apartment; and
  • Is not suffering from dementia

Where Are Stepping On Courses Available?

Click the map below to locate a Stepping On class in your community.

Montana Community Programs

Where Can I Get More Information?

Stepping On Sites and Leader Contacts
For information on programs and contacts in your area:
Contact the Injury Prevention Program, 406-444-4126 or maureen.ward@mt.gov