11 tips to prevent falls while you are in the hospital

  1. For your safety, a member of the nursing staff will stay within arm’s reach with you in the bathroom and when you are walking.
  2. Wear nonslip footwear (red slippers) when you are up.
  3. Other things that may be used to keep you safe in the hospital include a bed alarm, chair pad alarm, floor mat or observation camera.
  4. Use the call light when you need help.
  5. Ask the nursing staff for help to and from the bathroom. This is very important if you are unsteady. The call light in the bathroom may be located on the wall.
  6. If you take medicines that cause you to go to the bathroom often, ask for help when you need to get up. Consider using a commode or urinal.
  7. Some medicines may cause you to feel dizzy or sleepy. Take your time getting out of the bed or chair. Sit at the edge of the bed for a few seconds before you get up.
  8. Wear your eyeglasses, hearing aid(s) or both when you are awake.
  9. Walkers and canes can provide support. Other items do not. Do not lean on the bedside table, furniture, IV pole or other items to steady yourself.
  10. Ask a member of your health care team to place the call light, phone and personal items within your reach before they leave the room.
  11. Tell a member of the nursing staff if you have any concerns about your safety.

Tips for family and friends

The nurse identifies patients who may be at risk for falling with red slippers, special signs or both.

Please speak up about safety concerns to the nursing staff. This includes information about the risk of falling, or a recent history of a fall. Patient safety and comfort are important to the health care team. Family and friends can also help. Please read this information so you can remind your family member or friend of the 11 tips to prevent falls. You can also do the following.

Make sure the call light, phone and personal items are within easy reach of the patient before you leave the room.

  1. Call the nurse if the patient is weak or lightheaded.
  2. Consider staying with the patient if they are confused or at a high risk of falling.
  3. Call the nurse before leaving the patient if they are confused.
  4. Remind the patient to ask the nursing staff for help when getting up.

If you have any questions, please ask a member of your health care team.



Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Ten Tips to Prevent Falls While You Are in the Hospital, safe-ahc-12197
First Published: 06/01/2007
Last Reviewed: 07/29/2019