Santé Montréal

Falls Prevention

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What is falling?

Falling is losing your balance and falling down. You can fall even if you have both feet on the ground, for example, slipping on ice.  You can also fall from an elevated surface, like from a stool or chair.
Some situations can increase the risk of falling and hurting yourself.

  • Slippery surface
  • Unfamiliar place
  • Not enough light
  • Health or vision problems
  • Side effects of some medications
  • Obstacles over which a person can trip
  • Urgent need to go to the bathroom  

It’s often thought that falls occur more often in winter, but that’s not true. Falls happen in every season. However, when a fall happens in winter, it’s often due to snow or ice.

Why is falling dangerous?

You can fall and hurt yourself at any age. As you get older, the consequences can be more serious.

Data for Québec

  • A million seniors over 65 live at home.
  • A third of them will fall during the year; half the falls will happen at home and could have been avoided.
  • Every year people 65 and over account for almost 50,000 medical visits, 13,000 hospitalizations and 600 deaths.
  • Although all falls don’t cause fractures (3%), for many seniors, a fall can trigger or worsen a situation that can lead to loss of autonomy and mobility.

Source: INSPQ, La prévention des chutes dans un continuum de services pour les aînés vivant à domicile. Guide d’implantation IMP, 2007.

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When to Consult

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Protection and prevention

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Risk factors

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Help and Resources

STAND UP! program

Proven effective, STAND UP! is part of a continuum of services designed to prevent falls and fractures among independent seniors living at home.

Vivre en Équilibre program

Offered by Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, Vivre en Équilibre is a program given by peers (volunteers) or by practitioners trained to lead the activities. This group program targets the fear of falling and its consequences on social participation and quality of life. It is suitable for anyone, whether or not they use mobility devices (e.g. walker).

Find out more

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People at Risk

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Dernière mise à jour le : 2019.01.23