Section 9: The Safe Living Guide - A Guide to Home Safety for Seniors – You can prevent falls!

Falls are by far the leading cause of seniors' injuries and injury-related hospitalization in Canada. They cause pain and, for many, lead to a move from home to a care establishment. They often cost seniors their independence and quality of life. They also represent huge costs to our health system. Yet most falls incurred by seniors are preventable.

Whether you live in a house, a condo or an apartment, living safely at home requires adapting your environment, your behaviour and your lifestyle to the normal changes that age brings.

You need to make sure your home is safe. This may involve installing brighter lighting, moving your furniture around, uncluttering your floors, rethinking the arrangement of your storage shelves, putting in night lights or getting a good fire extinguisher.

You need to keep yourself healthy and active. Whatever your physical condition, it's never too late to eat well and to be more active. Consult your health professional if you're in doubt about a new diet or a new exercise program. Not only will this benefit your overall health and increase your resistance to disease, it will also help you maintain the balance and strength you need to ward off falls and serious injury at home and elsewhere.

You need to recognize that assistive devices and gadgets are a smart way to make your everyday life easier, independent and safe. Find out which are available and use them!

Every change you make to adapt your home and to stay healthy will help keep you from falls and injury. We hope that this guide has provided you with many suggestions that will allow you to remain safely in your own home for many years to come.

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