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Preventing Falls

Did you know? 1 in 3 older Canadians fall at least once each year. Every 30 minutes an older adult is admitted to the hospital because of a fall.3 Falls are the most common cause of injuries for people 65 years and older.1 The good news is most falls can be prevented. Are you at risk for a fall? Use the 6 warning signs of falls (PDF 215KB) screening card to review your risk.

 

Staying on your feet

The Staying on Your Feet Guide (PDF) is a resource that provides local information to older adults based on their identified fall risk factors. Specifically this resource will help:

  • Identify what puts an older adult at risk for a fall,
  • Understand and learn how to prevent a fall,
  • Find local and online resources.

Steps to prevent falls2

Keep active

  • Exercise 30 minutes every day to improve your strength and balance.
  • Exercise will help to prevent a fall.
  • Take an exercise class in your area.

Check your medication

  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about your medications, and have them review your medications every year.
  • Medications can increase the chance of falling.
  • Medications include your prescription, over-the-counter pills, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Watch your step

  • Have your eyes checked every year.
  • Wear shoes (PDF 63KB) that will properly support your feet.
  • Watch out for ice, and uneven surfaces.
  • After lying down, or sitting, clench your fists and circle your ankles 10 times before getting up.
  • Keep walkways well lit and free of clutter.
  • Have a grab bar installed in your bathroom. Ask your doctor about which type of grab bar you should use.
  • Don’t rush or do too many things at once.

Speak up about dizziness

  • Let your doctor know if you ever feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Ask your doctor to test your blood pressure when lying down and again when standing up. You may feel dizzy if your blood pressure drops when you stand up.
  • After lying down, or sitting, clench your fists and circle your ankles 10 times before getting up.
  • Dehydration can make you dizzy. Be sure to drink 6-8 glass of water each day, or as directed by your doctor.

For more information about preventing falls, please visit Finding Balance Ontario.

 
 

Are you at risk for a fall?

6 Warning signs of falls

View, download and print (PDF 215KB)

 

What is Finding Balance?

Finding Balance is a campaign to increase awareness about falling, communicate prevention strategies, and promote healthy aging and independent living.

Want to promote Finding Balance Ontario in your organization? You can print brochures or posters, or contact Amy at 519-663-5317 ext. 2375 for promotional materials.

For resources and handouts in other languages visit:

 
Date of creation: February 5, 2013
Last modified on: December 1, 2015

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References

1The Chief Public Health Officer’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada 2010: Growing Older – Adding Life to Years. (2010). Retrieved from
http://publichealth.gc.ca/CPHOreport
2Finding Balance Ontario. (2012). Retrieved from
http://www.Findingbalanceontario.ca
3Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre. (2007). Injuries among seniors in Ontario: A descriptive analysis of emergency department and hospitalization data. Retrieved from
http://www.oninjuryresources.ca/downloads/publications/seniors_report.pdf