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Falling Prevention in the Home for Seniors


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Fall Prevention for Seniors in Burnaby, BCFall Prevention in the Home for Seniors

Falls are one of the most widespread risks facing seniors living independently and the most common cause of injury among older Canadians. It is estimated that each year, nearly 1 in 3 seniors (age 65 and over) are likely to fall, at least once.

Falls are also the leading causes of injury-related hospitalizations among seniors, annually accounting for 85% of all injury-related hospitalizations. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, over one-third of seniors who are hospitalized because of a fall are placed in long-term care and are never able to return home.

The statistics relating to falls convey staggering consequences that are detrimental to the long-term health and wellbeing of seniors within our community. At Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver), we come across numerous situations where falls have led to the reduced quality of life for a senior, caused injuries such as hip fractures, chronic pain, reduced mobility, hospitalizations and at times even death.

Although there are real consequences of falling, misunderstanding the risks of falling can also create its own issues. Overestimating the risk of falling may lead to reducing physical activity. This can increase the risk of falling because physical activity plays an important role in maintaining strength and balance particularly as individuals age. On the other hand, when seniors underestimate their risk of falling, they may take risks beyond their physical ability, and place themselves at greater risk of harming their health through a fall. We at Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver) always look to educate our clients and their families on achieving this balance between fall prevention and fall protection.

Over the years, dealing with multiple clients, our team at Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver) has noted some that simple steps that create a safer home environment and encourage healthy living, for seniors.

Reducing Tripping Hazards

Studies have shown that about nearly 60% of all fall episodes happen within the home (B.C. Ministry of Health). Some examples of how to reduce tripping hazards in the home include:

  • Removing clutter from pathways, including area rugs, electric wires and miscellaneous obstructions (e.g. scattered footwear)
  • Arranging furniture such that there is enough linear space to walk around and that the living areas are efficient to navigate for seniors
  • Using mobility assistance devices (walker, cane etc.) and handrails
  • Minimizing distractions & helping the senior focus while walking.
  • Making sure home and stairways are well lit. Nightlights or leaving a light on in the washroom can also be helpful.
  • As washrooms can be especially vulnerable areas for falls, some ways to reduce the risk of falls in the washroom include adding grab bars inside and outside of the tub or shower, the use of shower chairs and non-slip mats and if needed, installing walk-in shower areas (vs. step-in tubs).

Lifestyle Support

Encouraging an active lifestyle is another way to address the risks surrounding falls for seniors. Regular exercise – especially exercises that improve a seniors' balance and strength – can help decrease the risk of falling. Since natural aging and chronic conditions can increase the risk of falling, regular eye check ups and check-ins are also encouraged.  

At Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver), we acknowledge how important it is to be mindful of the spaces in which seniors operate and how efficient spaces can contribute to a senior's health and wellbeing. As part of this effort, we perform extensive home safety assessments whenever a prospective client requests our services. Whether this involves creating more space for exercise or mobility, rearranging home spaces to prevent falls, or educating the family on common pitfalls around senior mobility and balance, the team at Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver) takes each such opportunity with extreme diligence, so that we can contribute to seniors within our community living vibrant and healthy lives.

For more information on preventing falls or if you feel a senior loved one could be at risk of falling in their home, please contact the Home Instead Senior Care (Burnaby and South Vancouver) team at 604-283-9434 or at burnaby@homeinstead.com.

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