Nearly half of all injuries among older adults happen at home, and most of these injuries are caused by a fall.
Make smart choices – Sometimes we continue to do things that greatly increase our chances of falling, such as climbing a ladder to change a light bulb or shoveling snow. We can reduce these risks by asking for help. Be sure to focus on what you are doing, take your time and take breaks if you start to get tired.
Make your home safer– There are a number of things you can do to make your home safer.
- Have good lighting.
- Remove or securing items you could trip over such as loose mats, throw rugs and loose electrical cords.
- Keep hallways and passages clear of obstacles and clutter.
- Clean up spills right away so you don’t slip.
- Add grab bars to your shower and/or tub.
- Add handrails to both sides of stairs and edging strips to each step.
- Make sure sidewalks, decks and other walking areas are well lit, level, non-slip and free of clutter.
- Keep entrances free of snow and ice in winter.
Get someone to help you with the home modifications you need. You could ask a relative or friend, or contact the Age and Opportunity SafetyAid program (204-956-6440, 888-333-1808 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Good Neighbours Active Living Centre Home Maintenance Program (204-806-1303 or email@example.com).
Stay safer in your community– Be aware of hazards in your community that could increase your risk of falling.
- Watch for signs in shopping centres or other buildings that indicate slippery floors and avoid these areas.
- Avoid poorly lit stairs or carpeted stairs with busy patterns, both of which make the stair edges harder to see.
- Call your local municipality (in Winnipeg call 311) to report hazards in your community.
The first step in preventing a fall is knowing what hazards exist in and around your home. Complete the Staying On Your Feet Home Safety Checklist to identify fall risks in your home and to get tips on how you can make your home safer. The SafetyAid program provides a free safety audit of your home to residents in Winnipeg and in many rural Manitoba communities. Contact Age and Opportunity at (204) 956-6440, (888) 333-1808 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Occupational therapists perform home safety assessments and recommend equipment to help you move around your home easily and safely. Visit www.msot.mb.ca to find an occupational therapist near you or ask your doctor for a referral to community therapy services.
For more information on home safety contact: