Senior Fall Prevention Tips: Safety at Home

Falls can happen to us at any time in our lives, regardless of our age; however, our risk of falling increases as we grow older. Despite this fact, there are a few steps we can take to decrease the likelihood of seniors falling.

One of the key elements of senior fall prevention is understanding why falls occur, then taking steps to counteract these causes. Some contributing factors to senior's falling include poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in their surroundings (home, shopping centres, public transit, etc.). 

Here are some tips for making your home a safer haven for the senior in your life:

 

Senior Fall Prevention in the Bathroom

  • Equip the tub or shower with a non-slip bath mat to prevent slips and falls while bathing
  • Install grab bars in the bathroom, near the toilet and bath to assist with sitting and standing.
  • Install a raised toilet seat, if required
  • Use floor mats and wipe up moisture or spills immediately
  • Take the floor mat off the floor when not in use or consider taping it down between washes

 

Senior Fall Prevention in the Living Room and Bedroom

  • Reduce clutter by removing excess items which can either trip a senior or fall on them
  • Secure/tape down loose wires and cords, and anchor bookcases to the wall
  • Invest in a cordless phone to limit rushing to answer the phone
  • Improve visibility in the home by providing night lights and installing bright light bulbs, if needed
  • Ensure that all pathways are clear, especially the one between the bathroom and bedroom
  • Consider removing decorative mats or rugs, or tape them to the floor 
  • Use slow movements when getting up from a bed or chair. Sudden movements may cause dizziness

 

Senior Fall Prevention in the Kitchen

  • Store kitchen supplies in an easy-to-reach location
  • Place heavier items in lower cupboards or at waist height
  • Invest in a stable safety step stool with a safety rail
  • Use a step stool when accessing an item that is outside of our regular reach
  • Use non-skid floor wax
  • Always ask for help, if you cannot safety do something yourself

 

Senior Fall Prevention on the Stairs

  • Ensure your staircase is well lit
  • Install solid handrails on both sides of the stairway, and use them as you go up and down the stairs
  • Remove your reading glasses when you go up or down the stairs
  • Go slowly and ensure one foot is securely planted on a solid step before moving the other
  • Perform maintenance on any loose steps

 

Senior Fall Prevention in the Yard

  • Use bright lights near your front entrance
  • Keep walkways free of snow, ice, leaves, water, etc.
  • Perform regular maintenance on exterior stairs, repairing any loose steps as soon as possible
  • Store gardening items away when not in use 

— RV