Preventing Falls in Older Adults

All of the information on this page can be downloaded as a handout.

Facts on Falls

  • Most Common Cause of Injury for Seniors
  • 1 in 3 fall each year
  • Half-more than once
  • Almost half hurt themselves
  • Fear can reduce activity
  • Most happen in the home
  • Bathroom, kitchen and on stairs.

Causes of Falling

  • Poor balance
  • Weak legs
  • You have fallen before
  • Not paying attention
  • Rushing or hurrying
  • Not asking for help when you need
  • Having unsafe conditions
  • Wearing unsafe footwear
  • Taking the wrong dose of medication
  • Drinking alcohol

Tips to prevent falling

Pay attention

  • Take time to slow down
  • Plan ahead
  • Ask for help when you need it
  • Take time to get up from your bed and chair
  • Drink enough water

Improve your bone health

  • Stay active
  • Take enough calcium
  • Take enough Vitamin D
  • Eat healthy meals

Seniors’ calcium needs

Food sources of calcium

Seniors’ needs for Vitamin D

Food sources of Vitamin D

Wear Safe Footwear

  • Hurt feet = less active = more chance of falling
  • Diabetes then see a foot doctor
  • Wear shoes with non-slip soles
  • Wear shoes with low, wide heels
  • Make sure your shoes/slippers fit well
  • Do not wear backless shoes/slippers

Check your equipment

  • Check the brakes, knobs, and screws regularly
  • Remove loose mats and rugs, electric cords, and cables to prevent tripping
  • Watch for wet or uneven surfaces
  • Cane – make sure the tip is in good condition
  • Cane – attach an ice pick to the end of your cane in the winter


  • Take them as directed
  • Alcohol affects how medications work
  • Sleeping pills increase the chance of falling
  • Tell your doctor ALL medication you are taking
  • Have a pharmacist review your medicines every year

Vision and hearing

  • Have your vision checked
  • Wear your glasses
  • Have your hearing checked
  • Wear your hearing aids

Make your homes safer

  • Have grab bars
  • Use a non-slip mat inside and outside your tub/shower
  • Keep your toilet paper roll within easy reach
  • Improve lighting in home
  • Have handrails on both sides
  • Always turn on the lights
  • Clear pathways
  • Remove scatter mats and area rugs
  • Look out for things

Get moving

  • Begin regular exercise program
  • Make your bones stronger
  • Improve your balance coordination and leg strength
  • Try walking, dancing, bowling, doing tai chi

Alberta Healthy Living Program

  • Education classes
  • Better choices, better health
  • Nutrition services
  • Group exercise classes

Seek help

  • If you are very weak or dizzy
  • If you lose your balance
  • Have an alert device if you live alone
  • Carry a cell phone with you
  • Set up a plan to make contact once a day

If you fall

  • Make sure to check for injury before getting up
  • See a doctor if you are hurt
  • Have your medications checked by the doctor
  • Don’t let your fear stop you


Alberta Health Services Injury Prevention Resources

Alberta Health Services has a webpage with resources for injury prevention. Please visit the website to get the details.

811 Health Link Alberta

Free 24-hour telephone health information, nurse / nutritionist advice with interpretation

External Resources

Finding Balance website provides excellent resources about fall prevention, including series of videos that can be easier to understand.

Osteoporosis Canada website everything we need to know about osteoporosis (bone health)

All the information on this page can be downloaded as a handout. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Disclaimer: This material is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified health professional. This material is intended for general information only and is provided on an “as is”, “where is” basis. Although reasonable efforts were made to confirm the accuracy of the information, Alberta Health Services does not make any representation or warranty, express, implied or statutory, as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, applicability or fitness for a particular purpose of such information. Alberta Health Services expressly disclaims all liability for the use of these materials, and for any claims, actions, demands or suits arising from such use.  Last updated August 2023