Hazards in the Community

Paying attention to our surroundings helps everyone to be safe in our communities. Many falls in the community happen to active, healthy older adults as well as individuals with impaired mobility.

Assess falling hazards in your community by asking yourself the following questions:

• Does your neighbourhood have benches and/or rest areas?

• Are stairs in your community clearly marked, have railings, and in good repair?

• Are any pathways or sidewalks poorly lit or difficult to access?

• Do you feel unsafe walking in your neighbourhood due to uneven ground or sidewalk surfaces?

Although the local government may sometimes be delayed in responding to hazards, reporting by community members is valuable as it raises awareness within local government of the extent of the problems.

Suggestions

• Always try to use footpaths if possible. Avoid damaged footpaths or rough ground with loose or uneven surfaces.

• Be aware of curbs, changing levels and slopes, especially at entrances to buildings.

• Contact your local government if an area or public building is hazardous or in need of repair.

• Always be aware of bicycles, toys, pets, or other objects which may be in the way, especially when using a walker that blocks the view of the area in front of you.

• Allow yourself time to cross roads safely, use pedestrian crossings if available.

• If you use public transport, take your time. Keep one hand free to hold a rail and always look at the step. Ask the bus driver to wait until you are seated before taking off.

Helpful Resources