Harvard Health Letter

Easy ways to prevent falls and protect mobility

One in three people ages 65 and older will suffer a fall this year.

Falling and breaking a hip takes only an instant. But the recovery that follows can rob you of your mobility and independence for years. "What we see most of the time, especially with hip fractures, is that it can take up to a year to fully recover. But up to a third of patients won't be able to walk by themselves after a year, and might need a cane or a walker for another year or two," says Dr. Esteban Franco-Garcia, director of geriatrics inpatient fracture trauma services at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.

Preventing falls, however, is often as simple as clearing away hazards that could cause you to trip. Here are some of the most common offenders in the home, and what you should do to eliminate them.

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