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Preventing Falls: How to Keep Your Balance and Stay Safe

Did you know that November is Fall Prevention Month? Falls cause 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, 95% of all hip fractures, and rack up $2 billion a year in direct healthcare costs. The numbers look shocking, but the good news is that falls can be prevented when the right action is taken. Arming yourself and your family with the correct knowledge now will help you minimize your risk of falling in the future.

We have put together some useful advice to help you keep your balance and prevent falls:

Protect your eyesight and inner ear

  • Have your eyesight and hearing tested yearly
  • Use good lighting and nightlights throughout your home
  • Remove reading glasses before walking or using the stairs

 Avoid becoming dizzy

  • Avoid sudden movements, such as getting up to answer the door or telephone
  • Before walking, stand up and pause for ten seconds. Take one slow deep breath before you take a step.
  • Talk to your doctor if you think some of your medications are making you dizzy

 Wear proper footwear

  • Wear rubber or non-slip shoes that are secure on your feet with laces or Velcro
  • Avoid walking in slippers, bare feet, or stocking feet

 Use recommended assistive devices

  • Keep your walker or cane close at hand to steady your balance when walking
  • Hold onto handrails or something sturdy, especially when reaching to the floor[ET1]
  • Carry items in a basket, or on a small bag, attached to your walker
  • Apply the brakes[ET2] before standing up or sitting down

 Stay active!

  • People who are physically active are less likely to fall
  • Ideas for staying active can include short walks around your home, taking the stairs, or standing up and sitting down
  • Remember to pick up your feet when you walk

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among older adults in Canada. Approximately 20-30% of older adults fall each year. Knowing how to lower your risk of falling and what to do in the case of a fall are hugely important. Please bear these tips in mind to keep your balance and prevent yourself from falling to avoid injury.

Carefor provides a range of in-home care services for people who have limited mobility and have fallen, or are at an increased risk of falling. Our rehabilitation services include physiotherapy and occupational therapy to assess, evaluate, and treat any issues you may be having that are affecting your balance and strength. Learn more here: https://carefor.ca/services/rehabilitation-services.