10 Ways to Prevent Falling at Home

10 Ways to Prevent Falling at Home

Falls are preventable. According to canada.ca, it is the leading cause of injury among older Canadians. Up to 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year. It is the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures. And 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home. Roughly 275 die every year from injuries related to falls, and 6,800 hospitalized in Montreal alone(“René Bruemmer,” 2021).

What are the common causes of falls?

  • Lack of exercises or sedentary lifestyle 

Being sedentary can lead to weakness or loss of stability in your legs and hips, could harm the interaction of your nerves and muscles, or lessen your strength and balance (HealthinAging.org)

  • Obesity 

Fjeldstad and her colleagues found that obese adults are at a greater risk of falling in their study to examine the relationship between the prevalence of falls and obese seniors. Obese seniors are afraid of falling which may lead to further reduction in physical activity, greater functional impairment, and greater risk of falling.

  • Weaker lower extremities 

Pijnappels and his colleagues found that both seniors with low and high muscle strength have a risk of falling after tripping over an obstacle. This means that even though you have a high muscle strength but poor balance you will experience fall. Also weak muscles especially around the legs can cause unsteadiness on your feet.

  • Medications

Medications that suppress the central nervous system are among those most likely to contribute to falling, as they reduce alertness and cause slower reactions and movements. These include: anti-anxiety drugs, such as diazepam (Valium) and lorazepam (Ativan) (Harvard Health).

  • Poor lighting and vision problems

Insufficient lighting can make it difficult for seniors to see well and increase the likelihood of a slip and trip and fall injuries. According to BMC Geriatrics, "older adults have an increased risk of experiencing a fall if they reduced visual function".

10 Ways to Prevent Falling at Home:

  • Make your home safer.
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom and around the shower
  • Make sure you have proper lighting at night and especially in hallways
  • Avoid trip hazards if you have cords in the floor, make sure they are picked up
  • Avoid throw rugs 
  • Make sure you use proper shoes, avoid flip-flops or slip-ons
  • Eat foods rich in calcium
  • Drink 6-8 glasses of water daily
  • Use vitamin D supplements 
  • Talk to your doctor 
  • Evaluate your risk
  • Walking, aerobic, and leg strengthening exercises
  • Make sure you have the right eyeglasses for you
  • Use assistive devices such as handrails for both sides of the stairways, nonslip treads for bare-wood steps, a raised toilet seat or one with armrests, grab bars for the shower or tub, a sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub plus a handheld shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down.



Back to blog