Anyone can fall, but the risk of slips and trips increases as you get older. Every year one in three Canadians over 65 will fall – often with serious consequences. Hip, wrist and pelvic fractures are common in this age group and can take a toll on independence and quality of life.
The good news is there are many simple things you can do to prevent a fall.
Improve your Strength & Balance
Strengthening your legs can reduce your risk of falling if you do lose your balance. Exercises that target the leg muscles can be easily done at home or simply get walking more often! Activities such as Tai Chi, yoga, swimming and dancing can help improve your balance and coordination.
In Halls & On Stairs
- Mark the edges of stairs with a non-slip grip in an easy-to-see colour.
- Clear hallways and walkways of anything you can trip over such as books, shoes, bags and loose rugs.
- Replace light bulbs with a higher wattage to make your home brighter and help you see better.
In the Bathroom
- Install grab bars next to your toilet and in the tub or shower.
- Consider a raised toilet seat and a bench for the tub or shower.
In the Kitchen
- Clean up spills quickly to prevent slipping.
- Put commonly used items on lower shelves and cabinets so a step stool is not needed.
- Ensure that a telephone is within reach of your bed and keep emergency numbers nearby.
Check it out
- Have your MD or pharmacist review your medications. Some medications can cause dizziness and weakness, which can affect your balance and perception.
- Have your vision and hearing checked annually.
- Have your strength, balance and steadiness tested by a chiropractor.
Tips sheets on preventing falls developed by Canada’s chiropractors are available for download.