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Am I at risk for a fall?

Summary

Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors – every year, 1 in 3 seniors will fall. The older we get, the greater the risk of falling becomes. Our bodies naturally change with age, and these changes affect the way we feel, move, and behave.

A fall can have a devastating and lasting impact on an individual resulting in injury, chronic pain and a reduced quality of life. Even without an injury, a fall can cause a loss in confidence and a reduction in activities for older adults.

The good news is that there are actions you can take to prevent falls. Included in this section are materials to help seniors be active and stay independent.

1 in 3 seniors will fall every year
1 Public Health Agency of Canada. Seniors’ Falls in Canada: Second Report. Ottawa: Public Health Agency of Canada; 2014

Falls Risk Self-Assessment Checklist

 

Answer YES or NO for each statement, then tally your score below
1 Have you fallen in the last 6 months? YES 2 NO 0
2 Do you use, or have you been advised to use, a cane or walker to get around safely? YES 2 NO 0
3 Do you sometimes feel unsteady when you are walking? YES 1 NO 0
4 Do you have to steady yourself by holding onto furniture when walking at home? YES 1 NO 0
5 Do you worry about falling? YES 1 NO 0
6 Do you need to push yourself up with your hands to stand up from a chair? YES 1 NO 0
7 Do you have trouble stepping up onto a curb? YES 1 NO 0
8 Do you often have to rush to the toilet? YES 1 NO 0
9 Have you lost any feeling in your feet? YES 1 NO 0
10 Do you take medication to help you sleep or improve your mood? YES 1 NO 0
11 Do you take medication that sometimes makes you feel lightheaded or more tired than usual? YES 1 NO 0
12 Do you often feel sad or depressed? YES 1 NO 0
13 Do you have difficulty avoiding hazards in your path because you don’t see well? YES 1 NO 0
TOTAL SCORE Add up the number of points for each YES answer. If you scored 4 points or more, you may be at risk of falling.
Source of Checklist: Rubenstein LZ, Vivrette R, Harker JO, Stevens JA, Kramer BJ. Validating an evidence-based, selfrated fall risk questionnaire (FRQ) for older adults. J Safety Res 2011;42(6):493-499.

Talk to your healthcare provider or doctor for more information.

Please visit our resource catalogue for steps to lower your risk of falls.

Directory of Seniors’ Centres

The Government of Alberta provides a number of programs and services to support seniors in Alberta. This information is also helpful for caregivers and those Albertans who will be needing these services in the near future.

Directory of Seniors’ Housing

Resources

directory of Alberta Seniors’ Centres


Finding Balance
is a seniors' falls prevention initiative developed by the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta, in partnership with seniors' groups, healthcare organizations, and practitioners across Canada and is administered nationally by provincial stewards.

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The Centre reports operationally to the Dean of the School of Public Health and is accountable to the citizens of Alberta.

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