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Slip and Fall Accidents

Ten tips to help seniors prevent a fall.

The scope of this issue is set to increase as the Canadian population ages.

Senior falling on rug

Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations and injury deaths for those 65 and older in the country, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Additionally, when seniors are hospitalized for a fall-related injury, they are admitted for four or five days longer than the average stay for other injuries.

The scope of this issue is set to increase as the Canadian population ages. It is expected that the number of Canadians who are 65 and over will grow by 68% and hit a total of more than 10 million seniors by 2037. The number of seniors who are 75 and over is expected to double in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador over the same time.

Areas of concern

The majority of falls which resulted in a senior being hospitalizatized occurred at home (60%) and 17% happened at a residential facility. It is clear from these figures that preventing falls at home or in a home-like setting should be a priority.

MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law has a set of helpful tips to help you create a home that is safe for seniors and minimizes the possibility of serious injury:

Fall prevention tips

Here are tips to help prevent falls at home:

  1. Remove clutter and other tripping hazards, such as throw rugs, and repair loose or damaged flooring.
  2. Place frequently used items on easy to reach shelves.
  3. Clean up spills right away.
  4. Keep furniture and electrical wires from walkways.
  5. Add handrails and non-slip treads to staircases.
  6. Keep the home well-lit inside and out, include night lights in hallways and washrooms, and add extra light switches.
  7. Have a cordless phone and flashlight with fresh batteries in each main room.
  8. Use shower chairs and bathtub benches.
  9. Add grab rails in the bathroom along with non-slip mats.
  10. Install a raised toilet seat.

Lifestyle changes

There are steps that can help minimize the risk of falls by making some health and lifestyle changes. Seniors can begin following these tips if they are able and have a doctor’s permission.

  • Keep moving through exercises such as walking, group fitness classes, or swimming.
  • Have regular vision and hearing check-ups.
  • Wear well-fitting low-heeled shoes with good support and grip.
  • Walk hands-free for better balance and watch your step.
  • Go up and down stairs slowly.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Know the side-effects of any medication you take.
  • Use a cane or walker if necessary.
  • Keep a cellphone or personal alert device with you.

Practice getting up from falls by gently lowering yourself to the floor. Have a person nearby to help you get up, if necessary.

If you fall

There are a few actions to take if you fall to ensure that you do not further injure yourself:

  • Collect yourself before you stand. Ensure that you are OK before you try to get on your feet.
  • Stand up slowly.
  • If necessary, find something nearby to help yourself support you or a person to help you stand and ensure you are OK.
  • If you feel dizzy, lightheaded or weak, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you suffer from a fall and believe that you may have a personal injury case, reach out to MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law. Our lawyers are here to provide you compassionate legal assistance and help you get the compensation you deserve.

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MacGillivray Law is a personal injury law firm with offices in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. We serve clients all across Canada.

If you cannot travel to one of our offices, we will accommodate your circumstances and travel needs. We can provide a consultation by phone, Zoom, or FaceTime, or travel to meet you in your home when required.

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