Fall prevention checklist for caregivers

An older man in shadow sitting on the edge of his bed or couch

Observe and report these warning signs to a health professional:

  • Lower body weakness
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Shuffling gait
  • Complaints of dizziness when standing up
  • Holding onto furniture to prevent falling
  • Worsening vision
  • Decrease in coordination
  • Refusal to wear prescribed glasses or use assistive devices
  • Decrease in ability to walk up steps
  • Decreased hearing
  • Need for walker/cane, wheelchair
  • Recent onset of confusion/change in behavior
  • Clear pathways—particularly between bed and bathroom
  • Worsening incontinence
  • Any equipment is defective or not functioning properly

Report all falls immediately to a health professional

To prevent falls:

  • Keep the home clutter-free with clear passageways
  • Use proper equipment—grab bars, toilet seat, shower chair, etc.—as needed
  • Provide good lighting—especially at night
  • Arrange kitchen so items used most often are easily accessible
  • Wear appropriate footwear—no loose slippers or sandals
  • Wipe up any spills on the floor immediately
  • Have rugs, mats and runners with anti-slip backing or double-sided tape
  • Inspect the home for safety issues when arriving and before leaving
  • Have extension and phone cords, oxygen tubing and all wires out of the flow of traffic
  • Ensure emergency alert devices are in place

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