Seniors Health

Preventing Falls - Older Adults

Older Adult

Did you know? About 1 in 3 adults over age 65 and about half of adults over age 80 fall at least once per year.

The good news is most falls can be prevented.

Grey Bruce Public Health works to educate and provide resources to the community, with a goal of preventing falls across the lifespan.



What is a fall?

A fall is when we lose our balance and end up on a lower level than where we began. Sometimes, we refer to a fall as a slip or trip. A fall can happen with or without injury.

How can a fall affect a person’s health?

Falls can have a variety of short and long-term health effects.

Short-term impacts may include:

  • Bruising
  • Cuts & scrapes
  • Fractures or breaks
  • Pain

Long-term effects may include:

  • More serious injuries, such as hip fractures
  • The need for surgery
  • A loss of confidence resulting in a fear of falling
  • Reduced mobility
  • A loss of independence resulting in admission to a long-term care or retirement facility

Are falls frequently occurring in Grey-Bruce?

Falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in Grey-Bruce.

Local hospitals attribute about 8,800 emergency department visits and more than 800 hospitalizations each year – or about two to three per day – to falls. In 2021, Grey-Bruce’s rate of emergency department visits (per 100,000 people) due to falls was the second highest among all Public Health Unit areas in Ontario and was more than 1.5 times the provincial rate. About 1 in 3 adults over age 65 and about half of adults over age 80 fall at least once per year.

How do I know if I’m at risk of experiencing a fall?

There are a variety of factors that may put you at risk of experiencing a fall. It’s important to identify your risk factors and do what you can to mitigate them. Indoor and outdoor hazards, certain medications, substance use, strength & balance, and vision can all contribute to your personal fall risk. To find out if you’re at risk of experiencing a fall, complete the Finding balance risk quiz.

What do I do if I am at risk of experiencing a fall?

There are many strategies you can use to reduce your risk of experiencing a fall. The strategies you use can depend on what risk factors you have.

  • If home safety is a risk factor for you, check out these tips to prevent falls at home.
  • If community safety is putting you at risk of experiencing a fall, check out these tips for getting around in your community.
  • In some cases, medications or side effects from medications may be adding to your fall risk. Ontarians can utilize the Medscheck program to have their medications reviewed by their pharmacist and work to mitigate side effects.
  • Individuals with poor strength or balance should consider adding 30 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 times per week.

Staying On Your Feet Guide

The Staying on Your Feet Guide is a tool that will help you identify what puts you at risk of experiencing a fall, learn how to prevent falls, and find local resources you can access to address your risk factors.

Staying on your feet - Grey Bruce - Feb 2024 (downloadable pdf)

Where can I learn more?


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