A+ A A-

Falls are the leading cause of fractures, injury and deaths among persons over the age of 65.  The prevention of falls greatly improves the chances of staying at home. 

Falls can happen any time and any place, but two-thirds of falls by senior citizens occur in the home during everyday activities like walking across a cluttered room, slipping on a throw rug or a wet floor, standing on a stool or using the stairs.  Many of these accidents could be prevented by an item as simple as tape, a bathtub grab bar, or by the repair or installation of a stairway railing. 

There is a pattern to falls and their aftermath.  An injury followed by hospitalization, decreased independence and mobility, and relocation to an institution is too often the norm.  A fall can be a major life-changing event that causes many elderly people to lose the opportunity to stay at home. 

Just the fear of falling can create considerable anxiety - a form of paralysis.  This condition can erode self-confidence and lead to severe restrictions in daily activities, which in turn can cause social isolation and depression. 

The number of falls and severity of injury increases with age.  According to According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Seniors Fall Second Report, the cost of falls to older persons, their families, and other taxpayers in Canada is huge.  Aside from the negative physical and mental health consequences of falling, there are significant associated financial costs, estimated at $2 billion annually, a value 3.7 times greater than that for younger adults.  

When hospitalization data are examined, the results show that seniors who are hospitalized for a fall remain in hospital an average of nine days longer than those hospitalized for any cause. This discrepancy highlights the disproportionate health care costs of fall-related injuries in comparison to other causes of hospitalization. 
Even more worrying is that the number of deaths due to falls increased by 65% from 2003 to 2008.


Take heart, steps can be taken to prevent falls by identifying the major risk factors and taking some common sense precautions


Related Articles

  • Home Adaptations for Senior Safety

    The majority of seniors wish to continue to live in their own homes for as long as possible.  However, many homes are not designed to meet their changing needs as…   more ]
  • Home and Safety

    Home and Safety If you’ve decided that staying in your own home is best for you, the Care Guide strives to provide you with some resources to help make sure…   more ]
  • Home Safety Checklist

    Solutions For Better Aging Home Safety Checklist for seniors is a tool for caregivers to assess possible hazards and functional performance within the home environment.  It allows them to initiate…   more ]
  • Building an accessible bathroom for the elderly or disabled

    There is a lot to take into consideration when planning an accessible bathroom.   Ultimately, everything is secondary to these two primary goals: 1.  Making the bathroom experience safer 2.  Making…   more ]
  • Caring for a Wandering Alzheimer's Person at Home

    Wandering around the house by a person with Alzheimer's may be irritating to the caregiver, but not necessarily unsafe.  In this case, you as caregiver, may need to adjust your anxiety…   more ]
  • Fire Safety in the Home

    Fire safety is a crucial issue for seniors who choose to live in their own home.  Those caring for aging loved ones who wish to remain at home, need to…   more ]
  • Hiring a Contractor

    Hiring a Contractor Hiring a contractor to do a home renovation can be a challenging exercise, especially for older adults. And, because you’re trusting them to the job right, on…   more ]
  • Safety-proofing Your Home for Alzheimer's Care

    Here are some things you can do - booth inside and outside the home to make it easier for a person with memory care issues to continue daily activities, to…   more ]