As we gracefully age, maintaining our independence becomes a priority, and one significant threat to that independence is the risk of falling. Falls are the leading cause of loss of independence among seniors, but the good news is that there are proactive steps you can take to reduce this risk. Whether you’re a senior yourself or you have elderly parents, understanding the importance of fall prevention and implementing practical measures can make a significant difference. In this guide, we’ll explore the key factors contributing to falls, the role of balance assessment, and actionable steps to create a safer environment both inside and outside your home.

Understanding the Importance of Balance Assessment

As we age, our balance naturally deteriorates, making us more susceptible to falls. To address this, it’s crucial to have your balance formally assessed by a physiotherapist. They can perform standardized testing to identify specific areas of balance impairment and tailor interventions accordingly. This assessment not only helps determine the need for walking aids like canes or walkers but also guides the development of balance exercises that can have a substantial impact on fall prevention. In addition to this there are several things you can do in and around the home to prevent a fall.

Inside: Creating a Safe Haven

  1. Clear Pathways: Keep your living spaces clutter-free by removing furniture, books, towels, cords, and boxes to avoid tripping hazards.
  2. Enhance Stair Safety: Install reflective tape or bright paint at the top and bottom of stairs, secure handrails on both sides, and ensure proper lighting in stairwells.
  3. Eliminate Slip Hazards: Remove throw rugs or carpets on steps and floors or secure them with double-sided or nonslip backing. Use adhesive strips or a non-slip rubber mat in the bathroom.
  4. Ensure Adequate Lighting: Well-lit areas, including hallways, stairwells, and bedrooms, are crucial for preventing falls. Install light switches at both ends of hallways, keep a lamp or switch close to the bed, and use night lights.

Bathroom Safety:

  1. Install Grab Bars: Place grab bars inside the tub surround and next to the toilet for added stability.
  2. Use Non-Slip Measures: Employ a non-slip rubber mat or self-adhesive strips in the tub, and consider using a shower bench or chair for added safety.
  3. Prioritize Lighting: Adequate lighting in the bathroom, along with night lights, enhances visibility and reduces the risk of tripping.

Outside: Navigating the External Environment

  1. Maintain Clear Pathways: Regularly clear outdoor pathways of snow, ice, cracks in the sidewalk, branches, and extension cords.
  2. Enhance Step Safety: Apply reflective tape or bright paint to steps, secure handrails on both sides, and consider painting steps with a sand mixture for traction.
  3. Ensure Adequate Lighting: Well-lit walkways and front steps, along with motion sensor lights, contribute to a safer outdoor environment.

Universal Tips:

  1. Choose Appropriate Footwear: Wear shoes with low heels and rubber, non-slip soles to enhance stability.
  2. Exercise Regularly: Incorporate balance exercises into your routine to improve strength and stability.
  3. Move Slowly: Get up slowly from sitting or lying down to avoid dizziness. If you are dizzy frequently we would encourage you to book a Vestibular Assessment with one of our vestibular physiotherapists.
  4. Use Walking Aids: If recommended, utilize walking aids such as canes, walking sticks, or walkers for added support.
  5. Prioritize Regular Check-ups: Visit your eye doctor and audiologist regularly for eye exams and hearing tests.
  6. Review Medication Side Effects: Discuss medication side effects with your doctor or pharmacist to minimize potential risks.
  7. Emergency Preparedness: Keep emergency numbers in large print near each phone and consider wearing a medical alarm device for immediate assistance in case of a fall.


By taking proactive measures to enhance balance, create a safe home environment, and adhere to universal fall prevention strategies, you can significantly reduce the risk of falls and maintain your independence as you age. Embrace these practical tips to ensure a safer and more secure future for yourself or your loved ones.

To book an assessment to the balance assessed for yourself or a family member feel free to give north 49 a call at 306-343-7776 to book a Vestibular Assessment. Alternatively, you can book an assessment through our online platform 24/7.

It is our goal to get you Moving Better so you can Live Better.