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Fall Prevention

To understand the importance of fall prevention, it pays to understand the facts and figures.


Falls and fall injuries are more common than strokes and can be just as serious in their consequences.

Falls are the most preventable cause of needing nursing home placement.

Fall injuries lead to problems with daily activities like dressing, bathing, and walking around

Source: fallprevention.org


Among adults 70 years and older:

3 in 10 fall each year

2 in 10 who need home health care after being in the hospital will fall during the first month after coming home

1 in 10 suffer a serious fall injury such as a broken bone or head injury

5 in 10 have problems getting up without help after they have fallen

Falls cause over 90% of broken hips; half of those who break their hip never fully recover mobility

In the United States, 16% of all Emergency Department visits and almost 7% of all hospitalizations are for fall-related injuries

Fall Prevention Checklist

Research shows that simple safety modifications at home, where 70% of falls occur,
can substantially cut the risk of falling.


Is there an emergency plan in place?

Are working smoke detectors installed?

Is there a “ready-to-use” fire extinguisher(s) on the premises?

Are inside halls and stairways free of clutter/debris?

Are throw rugs removed?

Are there sturdy handrails or banisters by all steps and stairs?

Are electrical cords unfrayed and placed to avoid tripping?

Are electric outlets/switches overloaded (e.g. warm to the touch)?

Are rugs secured around the edges?

Are hazardous products labeled and kept in a secure place?

Is there a need for a stool to reach high shelves/cupboards?

Is smoking paraphernalia handled safely (e.g. cigarettes put out)?

Does anybody smoke in homes where oxygen is in use?

Are all animals, on site, controlled?

Is the home free from bugs, mice and/or animal waste?

Are materials stored safely and at a proper height?

Does the occupant wear an emergency response necklace/bracelet?

Get an annual physical and eye examination.


Are there outside lights covering the sidewalks and entrance ways?

Are the steps & sidewalks in good repair and free from debris/material?

Are the railings on the steps secured?

Is there a functional peephole in the front door?

Does the door have a deadbolt lock that does not require a key to open it from the inside (unless there is a tendency to wander)?

Don’t get de-hydrated.

istockphotoassistedlivingresident630x420131028LIVING AREAS

Are doorways wide enough to carry loads through and get a wheelchair/walker through?

Are light switches accessible so they can be turned on/off without walking across a dark room?

Are sofas & chairs high and firm enough for easy sitting and rising?

Is there a telephone in the room that is easily accessible?

Is a list of emergency telephone numbers by the telephone?

Do telephone cords/electronic wires run across walking areas?

Are there castors or wheels on furniture?

Does sitting furniture have armrests which are strong enough for getting in and out?

Maintain a diet with adequate calcium & vitamin D.


Are there glass doors on the bathtub/shower?

Is there a non-skid surface/mat in the bathtub/shower?

Are there grab-bars on the bathtub/shower and adjacent to the toilet?

Is there a raised toilet seat (if trouble getting on/off toilet)?

Is the water temperature below scalding (e.g. below 120°)?

Does the bathroom have a night light?

Is there a shower bench/bath seat with a hand-held shower wand available?

Do not smoke. Avoid excessive alcohol intake.


Is the floor waxed or otherwise slippery?

Are there any flammable items near the heat source?

Do the “ON” buttons work on all appliances?

Are items used the most stored between eye and knee level?

Is there an uncluttered work space near the cooking area (to avoid having to carry items)?

Participate in an exercise program for agility, strength, balance and co-ordination.  


Is there adequate lighting in all stairways and hallways?

Is there a light switch at both the top and bottom of stairs?

Is there a light switch by the doorway of each room?

Dress appropriately - wear properly fitting shoes with non-skid soles, avoid high heels.

istock000003689263smalld37a91c3fe30442b221a9892a7c3f068938e94a8s6c30MEDICAL and MEDICATION

Are used needles placed in a sharps container?

Is oxygen tubing kept off the walking path?

Is medical equipment properly stored?

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