Falls Prevention

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:

  1. Exercising daily to build strength and improve balance.
  2. Wearing safe footwear.
  3. Having regular eye check-ups.
  4. 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.
2 0
I steady myself by holding onto furniture when
walking at home.
1 0
I am worried about falling. 1 0
I need to push with my hands to stand up
from a chair.
1 0
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.
1 0
I take medication to help me sleep or improve
my mood.
1 0
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.

Helpful tips

  • 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.