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Falls ... how can we prevent them?

Did you know?

Every year, between 20 and 30% of seniors are victims to falls. Falls can have serious consequences. For example, fall-related hospitalizations account for approximately 85% of hospitalizations for injuries among seniors. In addition, they are the cause of 95% of hip fractures. It is therefore important to better understand the factors that can contribute to falls in an attempt to prevent them.

What are the factors that influence the risk of falling?

Here are some of the things that contribute to the risk of falling:

  • A fragile balance(2)
  • Less solid muscles and bones(2)
  • Poor vision(2)
  • Bad hearing(2)
  • Unsafe conditions inside and outside the home(2)

 It is possible to prevent some falls, here are some solutions:

  •  The review of medication by a health professional can reduce the risk of falling by 27 %.(1) The side effects of some medications can increase the risk of falling by lowering your balance or altering your waking state.

  •  An assessment and modification of your living environment can reduce the chances of falling by 20 %(1). Here are some tips that can be easily applied:

                 o Remove small rugs that can slide

                 o Watch out for pets when you move. They are often a source of falls.

                 o Make sure you have lights in the hallways at night when you walk around

                 o Have an anti-slip carpet in the shower

                 o Wipe any water on the floor as soon as you can to avoid slipping

                 o Check that there are no wires or cords lying around. Make sure the environment is as clear as possible.

  •  Developing balance through Tai Chi can reduce falls by up to 37%(1).

  •  It is also important to have good vision. Make sure you have an eye exam at the recommended frequency. Vision is an important factor of balance(1).

  •  In the winter season, wearing spikes under your boots or sneakers can reduce the risk of falling by 57% (1).If you are using a walking accessory, such as a cane; make sure you have a good grip under it.

If you think you are at risk of falling, a health professional such as a physiotherapist can make a full assessment of your condition and give advice and recommendations to address this problem.


  • Ordre professionnel de la physiothérapie du Québec (2017). Comment réduire le risque de chute chez les personnes âgées? Repéré à https://oppq.qc.ca/articles_blogue/comment-reduire-le-risque-de-chute-chez-les-personnes-agees/
  • Gouvernement du Canada (2006). Les aînés et le vieillissement –Prévenir les chutes à domicile et à l’extérieur. Repéré à: https://www.canada.ca/fr/sante-canada/services/vie-saine/votre-sante-vous/mode-vie/aines-vieillissement-prevenir-chutes-domicile-exterieur.html
  • Agence de la santé publique du Canada (2016). Vous POUVEZ éviter les chutes. Repéré à: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/prevent-eviter/index-fra.php


Author - Karine has been a physiotherapist at Physio Max since 2017. She completed her bachelor's and master's degree in physiotherapy at Université Laval (Québec) in 2016. Her main clinical interest is the treatment of concussions and vestibular disorders. In addition, she enjoys the sports side of the profession, including being the local Midget AAA hockey team's physiotherapist.