Preventing Falls in Older Adults


Did you know?

  • As you age, your risk for falling increases.
  • Falls can cause serious injuries and significant life changes that can impact your ability to care for yourself and your family.
  • Falling is not a normal part of aging and most falls can be prevented.

In Ontario, 63 older adults are hospitalized each day because of a fall.

In Waterloo Region, falls are the top cause of injury-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.


What is your role in preventing falls?

Whether you are an older adult, health service provider, caregiver, family member, or friend -- we all have a role to play in preventing falls!

Older Adults

Can use the tips in this webpage to make healthy lifestyle changes that promote wellness and independence.

Health Service Providers

Health Service Providers, such as doctors, pharmacists, long-term care facilities, and community support services programs, can consult with Public Health to develop fall prevention strategies, policies, and initiatives.

Caregivers

Can connect older adults with a care coordinator, who can link them to appropriate support services offered in the community, such as meal delivery programs, exercise classes, occupational therapy, medication review programs, and home visits.

Family Members

Can reduce fall hazards within the home by helping their loved one complete the Home Safety Checklist.

Friends

Can support one another in staying physically and socially active, and encourage each other to assess their risks for falling by using the Am I at Risk of Falling?  checklist.

fall prevention month logo

Each November, organizations across our local and provincial communities play a role in preventing falls by participating in Fall Prevention Month.

To learn more about the campaign, and to access printable fall prevention resources, visit the online Toolkit.

Join the movement! Share how you play a role in preventing falls on social media:

#PreventFallsWR


What are some tips to help prevent falls?

Eat a variety of nutritious foods - good nutrition will help maintain your strength, coordination, and mobility

Exercise daily - regular exercise builds strength and improves balance

  • Build exercise into your daily routine.
  • Join a local exercise class.
  • Set a daily walking goal - borrow a Pedometer Kit from the Waterloo, Kitchener or Cambridge Library

Make your home safer - half of falls causing hospitalization happen at home

Understand your fall risk - know what factors might be increasing your risk of falls

  • Use the Am I at Risk of Falling? checklist to identify personal risk factors for falls.
  • Discuss these risk factors with your healthcare provider.

Get your vision and hearing checked regularly - vision and hearing play a vital role in balance and movement

  • Get your eyes checked, and glasses prescription reviewed at least every two years.
  • Clean glasses regularly.
  • Have your hearing checked periodically.
  • Keep hearing aids in good working condition.

Know the medications you are taking - talk with your doctor or pharmacist about medications that may increase the risk of falls

  • If your medication makes you dizzy or sleepy, adjust your activities to prevent falling and talk to your doctor.
  • Ask your pharmacist whether it is safe to drink alcohol with the medications you are taking.

Use safety aids - use devices that can help keep you safe and active

  • Wear your glasses and hearing aid.
  • Wear nonslip, low-heeled shoes or slippers with thread that fit snugly.
  • Talk to your doctor about the most appropriate walking aid for your needs.

Tools and resources 

For more information about preventing falls in older adults, call 519-575-4400, or visit:

Infographic - Seniors' Falls in Canada

Infographic - Falls in Ontario 65+

Public Health Agency of Canada Aging and Seniors

Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging

McMaster Optimal Aging Portal

Parachute Canada Fall Prevention

Finding Balance Ontario

Osteoporosis Canada Exercise Video Series

eSolutionsGroup