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Enhancing Safety for the Elderly: Effective Fall Prevention Strategies

June 4, 2024

Falls are a significant concern for elderly individuals, often leading to serious injuries, loss of independence, and a diminished quality of life. As our population ages, it becomes increasingly important to address this issue proactively. This article explores various strategies to prevent falls among the elderly, aiming to enhance their safety and well-being.

In 2019/20, falls were the leading cause of hospitalised injuries and injury-related deaths among older Australians, accounting for 77% of injury hospitalisations and 71% of injury deaths. Females made up 63% of hospitalisations and had a higher age-standardised rate of falls than males. However, while 53% of fall-related deaths were among females, males had a higher rate of fatal falls.

Half of the falls leading to hospitalisation occurred at home, and 20% occurred in residential aged care facilities. Most hospitalised falls (60%) were due to slips, trips, or stumbles on the same level. Fractures were the most common injury (50%), followed by open wounds (14%).

Australians aged 65 and over were eight times more likely to be hospitalised and 68 times more likely to die from a fall than those aged 15–64.

Several factors contribute to the increased risk of falls in older adults:

Physical Changes: Ageing naturally brings about changes in muscle strength, balance, and coordination.

Chronic Conditions: Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological disorders can affect mobility and stability.

Medications: Some medications can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or hypotension, increasing the risk of falls.

Vision and Hearing Impairments: Reduced vision and hearing can make it difficult to navigate the environment safely.

Environmental Hazards: Poor lighting, loose rugs, clutter, and lack of handrails are common hazards in homes.

Effective Fall Prevention Strategies

1. Exercise and Physical Activity

Regular exercise is crucial in maintaining strength, balance, and coordination. Programs specifically designed for older adults, such as tai chi, yoga, and balance training exercises, have shown to be effective in reducing falls. Encouraging seniors to stay active not only helps prevent falls but also improves overall health and well-being.

2. Home Safety Modifications

Modifying the living environment can significantly reduce the risk of falls. Occupational Therapists are expert at reviewing the home environment and recommending home modifications and other actions.

Key modifications include:

Improving Lighting: Ensure all areas of the home, including hallways and staircases, are well-lit. At The Mobility Store we have a range of lights suitable for increasing your safety in the home.

Removing Hazards: Clear walkways of clutter, secure loose rugs, and ensure that cords and wires are out of the way.

Installing Safety Features: Grab rails in the bathroom, non-slip mats in the shower, and handrails on both sides of staircases can provide additional support. There is a range of grab rails on display at The Mobility Store.

3. Regular Health Check-ups

Regular visits to healthcare providers can help manage chronic conditions and adjust medications that might contribute to fall risks. Vision and hearing should be checked annually, and corrective measures, such as glasses or hearing aids, should be updated as needed.

4. Medication Management

Reviewing medications with a healthcare provider is essential. Some medications can be adjusted or changed to minimize side effects like dizziness or drowsiness. Organizing medications in a pillbox and setting reminders can help ensure they are taken correctly.

We have a range of products to help you to organise your pills including a pill reminder box.

5. Assistive Devices

Using assistive devices like walking canes, walkers, and raised toilet seats can provide extra stability and support. Additionally, we offer a range of assistive devices for hire if you only need them for a short period of time.

It’s important that these devices are correctly fitted and used as directed by your OT, Physiotherapist or healthcare professional.

6. Education and Awareness

Educating seniors and their caregivers about fall risks and prevention strategies is crucial. Community programs and workshops can provide valuable information and practical tips to help prevent falls.  

The WA Health Department has a website with information about ‘Falls Prevention and Management in WA’.

7. Community Support

Engaging in community activities can reduce isolation and encourage physical activity.

Local senior centres often offer exercise classes, social events, and educational workshops, which can help maintain both physical and mental health.


Preventing falls among the elderly requires a comprehensive approach that includes physical activity, home modifications, regular health check-ups, medication management, and education. By implementing these strategies, we can help our elderly loved ones maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. Proactive measures and community support play vital roles in creating a safe and supportive environment for our aging population.

For caregivers and families, understanding and addressing the risks can make a significant difference. Together, we can work towards a safer, more secure future for our elderly population.

Speak to our friendly and experienced mobility team at our Melbourne or Perth stores to discuss your needs and find the best product for you.

If you can’t visit our stores, check out our extensive online shop and have your item delivered to you in the comfort of your own home.

Get in touch with us so that you can improve your mobility today.