Falls are the main reason older adults lose their independence. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances are of falling.
Your patients can work to prevent falls by:
- Exercising daily to build strength and improve balance.
- Wearing safe footwear.
- Having regular eye check-ups.
- Making their home safe by:
- Removing clutter and tripping hazards.
- Adding railings on all stairs and grab bars in the bathroom.
- Having adequate lighting, particularly on stairs.
Download the falls prevention screening tool (PDF, 2 pages, 1.67 MB) to help your patients identify risk factors and prevent falls, or use the checklist below.
Am I at risk of falling?
Instructions: Answer “YES” or “NO” for each statement below. Add up the total number of points for each “YES” answer in the box.
|Statement||Points for “Yes”||Points for “No”|
|I have fallen in the past year.||2||0|
|I use or have been advised to use a cane or
walker to get around safely.
|I steady myself by holding onto furniture when
walking at home.
|I am worried about falling.||1||0|
|I need to push with my hands to stand up
from a chair.
|I have some trouble stepping up onto a curb.||1||0|
|I often have to rush to the toilet.||1||0|
|I have lost some feeling in my feet.||1||0|
|I take medication that sometimes makes me
feel light-headed or more tired than usual.
|I take medication to help me sleep or improve
|I often feel sad or depressed.||1||0|
If you scored 4 points or more, you may be at risk for falling. Discuss your risk factors with your healthcare provider.
- Learn more about reducing your fall risk, as people who have fallen are more likely to fall again.
- Talk with a physiotherapist about the most appropriate walking aid for your needs.
- Exercise to build strength and improve your balance.
- Do balance exercises every day. Remove hazards at home that might cause a trip or slip.
- Knowing how to prevent a fall can reduce fear and promote active living.
- Strengthening your muscles can reduce your risk of falling and being injured.
- Daily exercise can help improve your strength and balance.
- Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about treatment options.
- Talk with your doctor or podiatrist, as numbness in the feet can cause stumbles and falls.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about medication side effects that may increase the risk of falls.
- Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about safer ways to get a good night’s sleep.
- Talk with your doctor or healthcare provider about how you are feeling. Ask for help if you need it.