Falls are common in older people (aged 65 and over) and can lead to fall-related injuries, from minor bruises, cuts and abrasions to factures of limbs and hips. Cluttered home, poor balance, and insufficient lighting can all cause a person to stumble and fall. Falls and its related injuries can cause difficulty in everyday activities and restriction in physically demanding activities. Some people become so afraid of falling that they lose their confidence and stop doing the things they used to enjoy.

Occupational Therapists can evaluate each client’s individual physical capacity and observe their performance of daily activities in their home environment. Occupational Therapists help client identify risks of falls in their home environment and discuss solutions and strategies to minimize or eliminate these risk at home. Some aspects of home environment can be modified or adapted to facilitate this process. The following tips are shared by Occupational Therapists to help older adults reduce their risk of falls:


  • Installing grabrail in the shower recess or next to the toilet for clients with difficulty balancing themselves during their personal care tasks and functional transfers; installing a handrail along the external or internal stairs for clients with difficulty during functional mobility.
  • Re-arranging furniture to allow plenty of space to walk freely, especially for clients using a walking stick or a walker at home. Removing loose mats and rugs, or securing them firmly by taping the edge of mats on to the floor.
  • Reviewing your entire home and making sure you can safely and easily get to the frequently used items. Always arranging frequently used items between your shoulder and waist level, to eliminate need for overreaching or bending, or standing on a chair to get to things you can’t reach.
  • Evaluating the lighting throughout your home. Adding lighting to inadequately lit areas, ie internal hallway, staircase, basement. Ensuring adequate night lighting on the way to the bathroom. 

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Falls Prevention At Home