Middlesex-London Health Unit

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Fall Prevention and the Environment

Environmental hazards are a large reason for older adults falling; approximately 40-60% of falls are because of environmental hazards.1 Hazards can be in the home, community, and institutions.

 

Home Safety Guide for Older Adults

The Home Safety Guide for Older Adults (PDF) is a great resource to help individuals:

  • Identify hazards in their home
  • Learn how to make some simple changes
  • Improve their safety
 
  • Icon of a houseHome Safety Video
    This video by the Seattle Pacific University, Nursing program, gives examples of how to make your home safer and minimize your risk of falling.
 
 

Here are some tips to help reduce an older adult’s risk of falling due to environmental hazards:

  • Secure or remove loose rugs.
  • Keep hallways, entrances, and rooms well lit. You can use night lights in case you need to get up in the middle of the night.
  • Be careful with pets. Sometimes they can get under your feet and cause a trip.
  • Have proper mobility devices (canes, walkers), and make sure they are being used correctly.
  • Remove obstacles that are unnecessary (e.g. coffee table in the way of a walking path).

For resources and handouts in other languages visit:

 
Date of creation: September 1, 2015
Last modified on: December 1, 2015

References

1Scott, V. (2012). Fall Prevention Programming: Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing