- There are actions you can take to protect yourself and those you love from harm.
Common safety issues are sexually transmitted infections, falls, and motor vehicle
Prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs):
- The best way to fully protect yourself from STIs is to abstain from sex.
- STIs can be passed to another person during sex; therefore, use a latex condom every
time you have sex (vaginal, anal, or oral), if your partner might be or is infected.
- Decreasing the number of your sexual partners may reduce your risk of developing
- Being in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner (you and
your partner only have sex with each other) can reduce your risk of developing STIs.
- STIs can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby before or during the baby's
- If you are pregnant, get tested for STIs and seek appropriate treatment if the test
is positive to avoid passing the infection to the baby.
- Many STIs do not have symptoms. You can have an STI without knowing it. If you think
you might have an STI or have been exposed, talk to your health care provider.
- Some STIs can be cured with antibiotics if they are treated early. Untreated STIs
can cause serious health problems, such as infertility.
- If you are treated for an STI, your sex partner(s) should also be treated to prevent
- Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of injury deaths. They are also
the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma (CDC
- About half of all falls happen at home.
- If you or a loved one has fallen recently or has balance problems, consider the
following home safety tips and request a home safety assessment, if available to
- Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
- Have grab bars put in next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
- Improve the lighting in your home. As you get older, you need brighter lights to
see well. Hang light-weight curtains or shades to reduce glare.
- Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.
- Remove things you can trip over (such as papers, books, clothes, shoes) from stairs
and places where you walk.
- Keep items you use often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a step stool.
- Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
- Have handrails and lights put in all staircases.
- Engaging in regular physical activity, especially strengthening exercises may reduce
your risk of falling by increasing strength and balance.
Prevent Motor Vehicle Crashes and Injury:
- Impaired driving is dangerous and causes more than half of all motor vehicle crashes.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in Veterans in the early years
after returning from deployment. Don't drive while under the influence of alcohol
or drugs or ride with somebody who is.
- You can reduce your chance and your loved ones' chances of dying from a motor vehicle-related
injury by correctly using seat belts and car seats. Wear seat belts in cars and
helmets on motorcycles and bicycles.
- Don't text message or talk on a cell phone while driving.
Motor Vehicle Safety:
* Indicates that the link leads to a non-VA website. The VA is not responsible for
the content that is on the site.
If you have questions or interest in making a healthy living change, please
see your primary care team at the VA facility in which you receive health care.
- Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs): Infections acquired by having sex with someone
who has an STI. STIs can result from any sexual activity, whether it involves the
mouth, anus, vagina, or penis.
- Increased risk/high risk for STI: People are at increased risk for STI if they have
multiple current sexual partners, are sexually active adolescents, or have had a
STI within the past year.
- Home and Recreational Safety website:
- Hornbrook MC, Stevens VJ, Wingfield DJ, Hollis JF, Greenlick MR, Ory MG. Preventing
falls among community-dwelling older persons: results from a randomized trial. Gerontologist.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality website:
- HHS. Healthfinder: A Quick Guide to Reliable Information on Healthy Eating and Other
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) - Integrating Evidence-Based
Clinical and Community Strategies to Improve Health,
- How to Use I Statements in Clinical Practice (VIDEO):
- The Guide to Community Preventive Services:
- Prevent falls website:
- Fatalities and injuries from falls among older adults--United States, 1993-2003
and 2001-2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. Nov 17 2006;55(45):1221-1224.
- Administration on Aging website:
- CDC National Center for Injury Prevention: A Toolkit to Prevent Senior Falls:
- Motor Vehicle Safety websites: