Tips for preventing falls

Falls at home are one of the leading cause of injuries in older Canadians and are the cause of 85% of seniors injury related hospitalizations₁. Being able to lower your risk for falls at home can significantly increase the length of time individuals are able to stay living at home. As we age our risk of falling becomes greater due to poor balance, decreased muscle and bone strength, and reduced vision or hearing₁. These falls can be prevented by making adjustments to your home.

The top 5 tips to prevent falls at home:

  1. Remove clutter & area rugs
    – Clear your floors of everything to ensure there is nothing to trip on
  2. Increase lighting around the home
    – Using brighter fluorescent lights are better for visibility and also cost less to use
    – Ensure all the lights are on when maneuvering around the house
    – Use overhead lights and not just lamps as they tend to cast shadows
  3. Install grab bars and railings around house
    – Having grab bars around toilet and shower can help with sitting and standing as well as maintaining balance
    – Installing railings down hallways can also be helpful to help with balance throughout the home 
  4. Move SLOWLY
    – Falls usually happen when we are in a rush
    – This occurs either when we are standing up too quickly or running to the bathroom or the phone, allow yourself to take the time you need so you do not lose your balance. 
  5. Ask for help
    – As we age it is important to ask for help when certain activities start getting more difficult or heavier

This is a time in your life where ensuring you’re taking care of your health by staying active, eating well and taking your medications properly. Using safety aids is not something to be embarrassed about, they are there to aid you in your ability to stay in the comfort of your own home for as long as possible₂. 

If you want some extra and more specific ways to stay safe in different areas of your home please look below₁. 

How to prevent falls in the bathroom:

  • Non- slip surfaces in the tub or shower
  • Installing grab bars by toilet and bath to help with sitting, standing and balance. These must be properly anchored to ensure they are safe.
  • Install a raised toilet seat and have a bath seat in the shower 
  • Wipe up any moisture or water puddles immediately 


How to prevent falls in the living room and bedroom:

  • Minimize clutter (cords, wires, and other obstacles)
  • Cordless phone (to reduce running to answer)
  • Good lighting all around house
  • Clear path between bedroom and bathroom
  • Remove small rugs
  • Move SLOWLY from when standing up 

How to prevent falls in the kitchen:

  • Place everyday items in easy to reach places 
  • Put heavy items in lower cabinets
  • Use step stools for hard to reach items 

How to prevent falls on the stairs:

  • Good lighting
  • Solid handrails
  • Go SLOWLY do not rush 
  • Remove reading glasses before going up and down the stairs

How to prevent falls outside:

  • Keep front steps and walkways maintained and free of snow, ice and leaves
  • Keep front entrance well lit
  • Put gardening implements such as hoses and rake away when not using them 


Written by Hulpr and 3rd year nursing student , Christina Dalcourt




  1. Government of Canada. (2016). You CAN Prevent Falls!
  2. Mayo Clinic. (2022). Fall Prevention: Simple Tips to Prevent Falls. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Check for Safety: A fall prevention checklist for older adults.