Your Guide to Basic Fall Prevention at Home
With falls being one of the leading causes of injury among aging Canadians, it is vital to take the necessary precautions to help prevent falls at home. The first step is understanding the risks involved with falls, followed by taking initiative and ensuring your home is as safe and comfortable as you can manage.
Read on to get an understanding of basic fall prevention at home.
The Impact of Falls: By the Numbers
20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year
50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home
85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations are caused by falls
95% of all hip fractures are caused by falls
Protecting Yourself and Those You Care for
While it’s true that anybody can fall and sustain an injury, the truth is that falling can have a much larger impact for aging Canadians. Preventing falls by making necessary adjustments can reduce risk for you and your family, make your home more comfortable, and help maintain you and your family’s confidence for years to come.
Home Safety Hotspots
- Use a rubber bathmat in the bathtub and shower. Be sure to install the mat when the tub is dry.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to assist with sitting and standing.
- Use a bath seat in the shower and a raised toilet seat, if needed.
- Wipe up any moisture or spills right away.
Shop Bathroom Safety >
- Make sure your stairs are well lit.
- Have solid handrails on both sides of the stairway.
- Always take your time when going up or down the stairs.
- If necessary, install stair lifts, railings, and/or an elevator.
Living room & Bedroom
- Reduce clutter by removing loose wires and cords as well as any other obstacles.
- Use a cordless phone so you won’t need to rush to answer.
- Ensure you have good lighting throughout the house, including automatic night lights.
- Clear the path between the bedroom and bathroom.
- Take your time when getting out of your bed or chair.
- Keep everyday kitchen supplies in easy-to-reach locations.
- Store heavier items in lower cupboards.
- Use a stable step stool with a safety rail when reaching for high places.
- Always wipe up any spills immediately to prevent slipping.
- If you use floor wax, use the non-skid kind.
- Ask for help with tasks that you feel you can't do safely.
- Keep front steps and walkway in good repair and free of snow, ice, and leaves.
- Keep front entrance well lit.
- Put gardening implements such as hoses and rakes away when not using them.
- Consider home entry modifications suited to your needs, such as ramps, lifts, door operators, and railings.
Staying Healthy is Half the Battle
Focus on Good Nutrition
Eating healthy and nutritious meals will help keep up your strength and balance. Be sure not to skip meals as this can cause weakness and dizziness.
Stay Fit and Mobile
Regular physical activity is one of the best defenses against falls as it builds and maintains muscle and strength. Stick to low-impact exercise equipment suited to your abilities.
Use Medication Properly
Be aware of the possible side effects of your medication and how it can impact your everyday activities. Always read the directions carefully to avoid negative reactions.
Use mobility Aids