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Check Your Risk for Falling

1/16/2014, 6 a.m.

Answer “Yes” or “No” for each statement below.

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Risk for Falling

I have fallen in the past year. Yes 2 No 0 People who have fallen once are likely to fall again.
I use or have been advised to use a cane or walker to get around safely Yes 2 No 0 People who have been advised to use a cane or walker may already be more likely to fall.
Sometimes I feel unsteady when I am walking. Yes 1 No 0 Unsteadiness or needing support while walking are signs of poor balance.
I steady myself by holding onto furniture when walking at home. Yes 1 No 0 This is also a sign of poor balance.
I am worried about falling. Yes 1 No 0 People who are worried about falling are more likely to fall.
I need to push with my hands to stand up from a chair. Yes 1 No 0 This is a sign of weak leg muscles, a major reason for falling.
I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb. Yes 1 No 0 This is also a sign of weak leg muscles.
I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb. Yes 1 No 0 This is also a sign of weak leg muscles.
I often have to rush to the toilet. Yes 1 No 0 Rushing to the bathroom, especially at night, increases your chance of falling.
I have lost some feeling in my feet. Yes 1 No 0 Numbness in your feet can cause stumbles and lead to falls.
I take medicine that sometimes makes me feel light-headed or more tired than usual. Yes 1 No 0 Side effects from medicines can sometimes increase your chance of falling.
I take medicine to help me sleep or improve my mood. Yes 1 No 0 These medicines can sometimes increase your chance of falling.
I often feel sad or depressed. Yes 1 No 0 Symptoms of depression, such as not feeling well or feeling slowed down, are linked to falls.

Add up the number of points for each “yes” answer. If you scored 4 points or more, you may be at risk for falling. Discuss this brochure with your doctor.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control