You CAN prevent falls! The facts

You CAN prevent falls! The facts
You CAN
prevent falls!
The facts
in 3 seniors will experience a fall
1
each year, and half of those more
than once.
0% of seniors’ falls result in hip
4
fractures.
0% of injury-related deaths among
2
seniors can be traced back to a fall.
eniors are injured at home more
S
than any other location. The
bathroom and stairs are particularly
dangerous.
Protect yourself
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!
Your home
Living room and
bedroom
educe clutter! Get rid of loose wires and
R
cords as well as any other obstacles.
Bathroom
nsure that you have non-slip surfaces in
E
the tub and shower.
I nstall 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.
onsider using a cordless phone to avoid
C
rushing to answer.
ave good lighting throughout the house
H
and install night lights.
Make
sure the path is clear between the
bedroom and bathroom.
catter mats are tripping hazards. Get rid
S
of them or make sure they are non-slip.
ove slowly out of your bed or chair.
M
Getting up suddenly can make you dizzy.
Kitchen
tore kitchen supplies and pots and pans in
S
easy-to-reach locations.
Store heavy items in lower cupboards.
se a stable step stool with a safety rail for
U
reaching high places.
lways wipe up any spills immediately
A
to prevent slipping.
I f you use floor wax, use the non-skid
kind.
sk for help with tasks that you feel you
A
can’t do safely.
Your health
Stairs
Make sure your stairs are well lit.
ave solid handrails on both sides of the
H
stairway.
emove your reading glasses when you
R
go up or down the stairs.
ever rush up or down the stairs. It’s a
N
major cause of falls.
Eat healthy meals
utritious meals keep up strength,
N
resistance and balance. Eat lots of
vegetables and fruits.
Don’t
skip meals. It can cause weakness
and dizziness.
Exterior
eep front steps and walkway in good
K
repair and free of snow, ice and leaves.
Keep front entrance well lit.
gardening implements such as hoses
Put
and rakes away when not using them.
Ask for help
with tasks that you
feel you can’t
do safely
Keep fit
ngage in physical activity every day.
E
It’s your best defence against falls.
alk. Try Tai Chi. Do what you can to
W
maintain your flexibility and balance.
uild your muscle and bone strength by
B
doing “resistance” activities or exercises
(such as weight lifting). Consult your
doctor before you embark on an exercise
program.
Have
your hearing and vision checked
regularly.
Use medication wisely
sk your doctor or pharmacist about
A
possible side effects of prescription or
over-the-counter medication.
Read directions carefully so you’re aware
of potential reactions with other
medications.
If your medication causes dizziness or
sleepiness, adjust your activities so you
aren’t at risk of falling.
Don’t mix alcohol and medications. Alone
or in combination with drugs, alcohol can
cause falls.
Use safety aids
on’t be embarrassed to use aids to daily
D
living—they can keep you safe and active.
Wear your glasses and hearing aid.
Consider using a walker or cane. If you
use a cane, make sure that it’s the correct
height and that it’s rubber-tipped for safety.
Appropriate footwear is important.
Comfortable shoes that provide good
support can help to prevent falls.
Find out about other gadgets that can make
your life safer: reachers, anti-skid soles,
hip protectors, etc.
Use them!
Take action!
You CAN prevent falls!
If you fall...
Try to land on your buttocks to prevent
more serious injuries.
Don't rush to get up. Make sure you are
not injured before trying to get up or
letting others help you get up.
Don't let the fear of falling again
prevent you from being active.
Inactivity creates an even greater
risk of falling.
For more information
Division of Aging and Seniors (DAS)
Public Health Agency of Canada
Address Locator 1908A1
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9
Tel: 613-952-7606, Fax: 613-957-9938
TDD/TTY: 1-800-267-1245
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: www.publichealth.gc.ca/seniors
Cette publication est disponible en français
sous le titre : Vous POUVEZ éviter les chutes!
Other DAS publications
The
Safe Living Guide—A guide to home
safety for seniors
Go for it!—A guide to choosing and using
assistive devices
Bruno and Alice—A love story in twelve
parts about seniors and safety
12 steps to stair safety at home
Stay safe! (poster)
Assistive devices info-sheet for seniors
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, 2005.
Revised 2007, 2011.
Cat. No. HP25-3/2011E-PDF
ISBN 978-1-100-17809-7
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