Living Well - Falls Prevention for Older Adults

Did you know?

Exercising regularly can improve your physical and mental health.

Exercise

  • is one of the most important ways for you to decrease your risk of falling.
  • may lower your risk of falling by improving your balance and flexibility, while making your muscles and bones stronger.
  • is good for your heart, bones, muscles and balance, and keeps you mobile.

Take action

  • Try to exercise most days of the week. 
  • Set short-term and long-term physical activity goals (PDF file), for example: set goals that can be achieved in 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months.
  • Physical activity for adults 65 or older should include 2 1/2 hours of moderate to high levels each week, for 10 minutes at a time or more. This can include brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
  • Exercise your muscles at least 2 days each week by lifting weights and/or by doing pushing and pulling activities.
  • Perform exercises that will improve your balance to help prevent falls, for example: walking on a straight line, or balancing on one foot and then the other.

Take time

  • when answering your door or phone. This decreases the risk of falling. Consider increasing the number of rings on your phone so that a phone call is not missed.
  • to get up from sitting. This allows you to gain your balance and decreases your risk of falling.

Make healthy choices

  • Eat food from the 4 food groups to help your body stay healthy and decrease the side effects of some chronic illnesses, such as diabetes.
  • Get enough Vitamin D and calcium. This will decrease your risk for Osteoporosis (external link), which can lead to weaker bones that may break more easily if you fall. Lower your risk of osteoporosis by making sure you are getting enough Vitamin D and calcium. Consult your doctor to make sure you are getting enough.
  • Eating a healthy diet (external link) is important for your bone health. Use Canada's food guide (external link) to help you pick healthy foods from the 4 food groups. Drink 6 cups (1500 ml) of fluids daily such as water, milk, or 100% fruit juice whether you are thirsty or not.