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Fall Prevention

Did you know? 1 in 4 older Canadians fall at least once each year. Falls are the most common cause of injuries for people 65 years and older. 95% of broken hips are caused by falls.1 The good news is most falls can be prevented.

 

Staying on Your Feet Guide

Staying on Your Feet Guide

Use the Staying on Your Feet Guide to identify what puts an older adult at risk for falls, learn how to prevent falls, and find local and online resources.

Download (PDF)

 

Assistive Devices

Assistive devices are products designed to help people do everyday tasks.8 There are many such products, including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, grab bars, and hearing aids.

You may be eligible for financial help to buy some of these products. To find out more, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care Assistive Devices Program. The Canadian Red Cross provides information on the proper use of many different health equipment.


Bone Health

As you get older, it is important to keep your bones strong and prevent broken bones.2

Tips to keep your bones healthy:

  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough calcium and vitamin D
  • Be physically active
  • Limit alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking
  • Talk to your health care providers about bone health

For more information about bone health and osteoporosis, please visit Osteoporosis Canada.


Foot Care

Did you know? Our feet carry us an average of 184,000 kilometers in a lifetime.3 Good foot health allows you to stay active and healthy.

Tips for basic foot care:

  • Check your feet daily
  • Wear comfortable shoes and socks that fit your feet
  • Be active daily
  • Wash your feet every day
  • Keep your feet soft and smooth
  • Cut or file your nails straight across and never shorter than the end of your toe

If your feet hurt, see your doctor or other health care providers such as a podiatrist.

For more information about foot care, please visit Veterans Affairs Canada Putting Your Best Foot Forward: A Guide to Foot Care.


Hearing

Many Canadian Seniors have difficulty hearing another person talking. The number increases to almost 1 in 2 for those 85 and over.4 Hearing loss can make it harder for you to participate fully in everyday activity. It is important to get your hearing checked if you notice a change in your hearing.

If you’re 55 or older and have a hearing loss, the Canadian Hearing Society offers free counselling services to help you to:

  • Improve communication with others
  • Stay active and involved

For more information about hearing programs and services, please visit the Canadian Hearing Society.


Vision

People of all ages can experience vision loss, but as we age, our risk of developing an eye disease that can cause vision loss increases.

10 Simple Steps to Help Prevent Vision Loss:5

  1. Have your eyes checked regularly
  2. Quit smoking
  3. Eat healthy and get fit
  4. Protect your eyes from sunlight
  5. Wear eye protection
  6. Consider vitamin supplements
  7. Prevent diabetes
  8. Manage your diabetes
  9. Keep drinking moderate
  10. Educate yourself

To learn more about eye care and eye conditions, visit the CNIB Foundation.


Physical Environment

Environmental hazards are a large reason for older adults falling. Hazards can be in the home, community, and institutions. Over half of fall injuries occur in the home, with another 20% occurring outside but close to the home.6

 

 
  • Home Safety Guide for Older AdultsHome Safety Guide for Older Adults (PDF)
    Download the Home Safety Guide for Older Adults. This is a great resource to help individuals identify hazards in their home, learn how to make simple changes, and improve their safety.
 

Some tips to keep your environment safe:7

  • Remove scatter matts and area rugs or tape down the edges.
  • Keep pathways clear of furniture and cords. Keep them well lit inside and outside. Use night lights and motion detector lights.
  • Install safety grab bars for your tub, shower and toilet.
  • Have handrails on both sides of your stairways and check that they are secure.
  • Watch for uneven surfaces, sidewalk cracks and unmarked curbs and slopes.
  • Watch for obstacles like other people, cars, pets and newspaper stands.
 
Date of creation: February 5, 2013
Last modified on: October 24, 2018
 
 

References

2Osteoporosis Canada. (2014). Your Guide to Strong Bones. Retrieved from
https://osteoporosis.ca/brochures-and-fact-sheets
3Veterans Affairs Canada. (2014). Putting your best foot forward: A guide to foot care. Retrieved from
http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/health/promotion/footcare
4Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. (2011). 2011 Federal Disability Report Seniors with Disabilities in Canada. Retrieved from
https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/programs/disability/arc.html
5CNIB. (n.d.). Ten simple steps to help prevent vision loss. Retrieved from
https://cnib.ca/en?region=on
6Scott, V. (2017). Fall Prevention Programming: Designing, Implementing and Evaluating Fall Prevention Programs for Older Adults. Raleigh, North Carolina: Lulu Publishing.
7Finding Balance Ontario. (n.d.). Anyone can fall: Prevent it from happening to you – Keep your home safe. Retrieved from
http://www.findingbalanceontario.ca/index.php/watch-your-step.html
8Veterans Affairs Canada. (2015). Help yourself to assistive devices! Retrieved from
http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/services/health/promotion/fallsp/assistdev