Sarah Bingler, Occupational Therapist

Take a proactive approach to falls

As you age, physical changes and health conditions can make falls more likely. Taking a proactive approach by making necessary adjustments to your home and lifestyle, and speaking with an occupational therapist are the best ways to prevent them.

Falls are a leading cause of injuries among older Canadians, with an estimated 1 in 3 seniors aged 65 years and older likely to fall at least once. But fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life.

“Preventing a fall is one of the most important things you can do to stay independent as you grow older,” says Sarah Bingler, occupational therapist at Michael Garron Hospital.

Sarah suggests these three safety tips to prevent falls around the home:

  1. In the bathroom
  • Non-slip mats to line the tub or shower
  • A bath chair
  • Properly installed grab bars
  • Raised toilet seats
  1. In the bedroom
  • Make sure the bed is a safe height, i.e. not too high
  • Ensure there is good lighting, or consider using a nightlight
  • Minimize clutter and remove tripping hazards
  1. Outside
  • Ensure stairs have railings
  • Put a plan in place for ice and snow removal
  • If you have a pet, ask for help with dog walking when conditions are icy or slippery

“It’s always better to take a more proactive approach to falls,” says Sarah. “Even if you aren’t injured as a result, a minor fall can affect your confidence and limit your participation in the community.”