Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Guiding Principles and Assumptions and Concepts that Align with This Guideline

Guiding Principles

  • Many falls are predictable and preventable.
  • Some falls cannot be prevented; in these cases, the focus should be on proactively preventing fall injuries and decreasing the frequency of falls.
  • Falls prevention is a shared responsibility within health care.
  • Person- and family-centred care is foundational to the care of people at risk for falls and fall injuries.
  • The risks and benefits for the person should be considered when implementing interventions to prevent falls and minimize injuries.
  • Competent adults have the right to take risks (i.e., make decisions or take actions that increase their risk for falls).


  • The following assumptions should be taken into consideration when reviewing and implementing the recommendations in this Guideline:
  • Health-care providers practice within their scope, and recognize the limits of their knowledge and abilities.
  • Health-care providers adhere to local legislation, professional practice standards, and ethical principles, where established.
  • Health-care providers value and engage family, recognizing that some people do not have family, that others may not want or need their family to be involved, and that family members are not always willing or able to help.
  • Substitute decision-makers (SDMs) are involved in care when appropriate.

Concepts that align with this guideline:

  • alternative approaches to restraints
  • care transitions
  • cultural sensitivity
  • implementation science
  • intra-professional collaboration
  • interprofessional collaboration
  • motivational interviewing
  • person- and family-centred care
  • self-management
  • social determinants of health
Older Adults
Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls
Background Information