You CAN Prevent Falls!
- Falls are the leading cause of injury among older Canadians.
- 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year.
- Falls are the cause of 85% of seniors' injury-related hospitalizations.
- Falls are the cause of 95% of all hip-fractures.
- 50% of all falls causing hospitalization happen at home.
Anyone can fall. But as we age, our risk of falling becomes greater. That's the bad news. The good news is that falls can be prevented. The first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them. For example, poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around your home can increase your chance of falling. Staying safe and on your feet is a matter of taking some steps to protect yourself.
You can prevent falls by making the needed adjustments to your home and lifestyle, and by making sure you eat well, stay fit, and use whatever devices will facilitate your daily life while keeping you safe. Your independence and well-being are at stake. Take action!
Injuries can result from seemingly innocent things around your home—many of which are easily fixed or adapted after you do some detective work to track them down. The following checklists will help you inspect your home for evidence of trouble that may be waiting to happen. Every NO answer is a clue that your home may not be as safe as it could be and that you should be making the needed changes as soon as you can. Your safety depends on it!
- Ensure that you have non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower.
- Install grab bars by the toilet and bath to help you sit and stand. Make sure they are well anchored.
- Use a raised toilet seat, and a bath seat in the shower, if you need them.
- Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.
Do you test the water temperature before you get into the bathtub or shower? Yes_ No_
Is your hot water temperature set to the recommended 49°C (120°F) ? Yes_ No_
Do you have non-slip surfaces in the tub or shower? Yes_ No_
Do bath mats next to the tub or shower have rubberized backing or are they secured in place to keep them from slipping? Yes_ No_
Do you have a night light in the bathroom? Yes_ No_
Does your bathroom door lock have an emergency release? Yes_ No_
Do you have grab bars that have been properly placed and well anchored to the wall in the bathtub or shower? Yes_ No_
If you have any trouble getting on and off the toilet, do you have a raised toilet seat and a grab bar that is well anchored? Yes_ No_
If it's difficult for you to take a shower standing up, have you considered a bath seat? Yes_ No_