While falls are common in older adults, they are preventable.
Are you at risk of falling?
- Have you fallen in past six months?
- Do you feel unsteady or have trouble walking?
- Do you worry about falling?
- Do you take five or more medications?
- Do you have vision problems?
There are other risk factors for falling. To complete a self-assessment questionnaire about your risk of falling, visit the Santé Montréal website.
How can you prevent falls?
- Exercise regularly. For more information on the fall prevention program STAND-UP!, visit the CIUSSS website.
- Have regular eye checkups. For more information about how good vision can help prevent falls, visit the Santé Montréal website.
- Eat healthy, well balanced meals. For more information about healthy eating, see the Canada's Food Guide.
- Review your medications with your pharmacist, doctor or nurse. For more information about taking medication and the risk of falling, visit the Santé Montréal website.
- Remain seated while getting dressed.
- Wear anti-slip shoes that have good support. For more information about choosing the right shoes to avoid falling, visit the Santé Montréal website.
- In winter, wear ice grips on the bottom of your outdoor shoes.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about falls.
How can you keep your home safe?
- Keep floors dry by cleaning up spills immediately.
- Remove small rugs, wires and clutter from the floor.
- Use firm chairs with armrests and avoid chairs with wheels.
- Keep a phone or alarm device with you.
- Use nightlights.
- Use a cane or walker, as directed by a healthcare provider
- When getting into or out of a wheelchair, make sure the brake is engaged and the footrests are folded out of the way.
- Consider consulting an occupational therapist about a home safety evaluation.
In your bedroom
- Keep your lamp and glasses within reach.
- Get out of bed slowly.
- Consider installing a bed rail to help you get into and out of bed.
- Consider using a commode or bedpan at night.
In your bathroom
- Use a hand-held shower head.
- Place anti-slip mats inside and outside the tub/shower.
- Consider using a bench in the tub/shower.
- Consider installing grab bars by the toilet and in the tub/shower.
- Consider using a raised toilet seat.
- Do not lean on a towel rack or soap dish for support.
In your kitchen
- Sit while preparing food.
- Store heavy items in lower cupboards.
- Keep frequently used items nearby.
On the stairs
- Walk slowly down the stairs.
- Install handrails on both sides of the staircase.
- Place non-slip strips on uncarpeted stairs.
- Make sure carpeting is firmly attached.
- In winter, make sure outdoor stairs are free of ice and are well salted.
If you fall
- Stay calm.
- Do not rush to get up.
- Check whether you are injured.
- If you are unsure what to do, call Info-Santé 811.
- Inform your healthcare provider about the fall.
If you are injured or unable to get up
- Make noise to attract someone who can help.
- If you have a portable alarm device, press it.
- Use your cell phone to call for help (family, friends or 911).
- For more information about falling or what to do if you see someone fall, visit the website of the Public Health Agency of Canada.