How Can We Prevent Falls At Home?

How Can We Prevent Falls At Home?

Many falls can be prevented at home. Here are some strategies that can be adopted: 

  • Regular exercise and physical activity: exercising regularly helps prevent falls by making your bones and muscles stronger and more flexible. At VanCity Physio, we can help customize a home exercise program that will help you achieve optimal balance.
  • Having medication reviewed by healthcare providers or pharmacists: some medications or combinations of medications can lead to dizziness, which raises the risk of falling. 
  • Having hearing or vision checked: have regular check-ups with an eye doctor at least once a year, since poor vision increases the risk of falling. Also, if you have hearing problems, consult a hearing specialist, since hearing issues can also increase the likelihood of falls. 
  • Making your home safer: your home can be made safer by removing tripping hazards, improving lighting, installing handrails and grab bars, wearing non-slip shoes, and keeping important items such as phones in close reach. Consulting an occupational therapist led Home Safety Assessment can also help make your home safer.
  • Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix. Making changes in your home to prevent falls is beneficial both for you and your family members, as well as for guests and visitors to your home. The majority of falls resulting in serious injury occur within the home, most within the living room or bedroom. Work through the list of common areas to identify and remove hazards:

Stairs and Steps

  • Do I have light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs?
  • Are my stairs well lit?
  • Are my stairs in good repair, free of clutter and have a non-skid surface?
  • Is the edge of all steps marked with contrasting coloured non-skid tape or paint?
  • Are the runner mats, carpeting or other floor covering on my stairs well fastened?
  • Are there solid handrails or banisters on both sides of the stairway?
  • Do I remove my reading glasses when I go up and down the stairs?
  • Do I take my time going up or down stairs?


  • Have I arranged frequently used and/or heavy items in an easy-to-reach location?
  • Do I use a stable step stool with a safety rail for reaching high places and/or ask for help?
  • Do I always wipe up spills immediately?
  • Do I avoid using floor wax, or use a non-skid variety?
  • Do I ask for help with tasks I feel I cannot do safely?

Living Areas

  • Do I remove throw rugs or scatter mats (altogether and/or in high traffic areas such as at the top or bottom of stairs), or use a non-skid backing with flat edges?
  • Does my pet have a bell on its collar so I can hear it if its close by or underfoot?
  • Are all walking areas clear of clutter, telephone or electrical cords and other obstacles?
  • Are all rooms, stairs and balconies well lit with non-glare lighting?
  • Do the surfaces of my stairs, balconies, porches and patios have non-slip surfaces?
  • Have I removed raised door sills where possible?
  • Do I wear a personal alarm device?


  • Do I have a light switch near the bedroom entrance, or a motion-sensitive or clapper device that automatically turns on the light?
  • Is the path from my bed to the bathroom clear?
  • Do I have a cordless phone and a lamp near the bed?
  • Do I have a night light in the halls and bathroom in case I get up in the middle of the night?
  • Do I take a few moments to sit at the bedside before standing up after a rest or before getting up in the morning?


  • Do I use a rubber bath or shower mat, or does my tub or shower have a non-slip surface?
  • Are grab bars installed by the toilet, bathtub and shower?
  • Do I use a white bath seat while taking a shower or bath?
  • Do I keep an absorbent towel handy to wipe up moisture or spills immediately?
  • Have I talked with a healthcare professional (i.e. occupational or physical therapist) about the correct type and placement of assistive devices?

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