Programs - Falls Prevention
Facts About Falls Prevention
 
Most of us have slips and trips with no serious consequences. However, among older adults falls are more common and more often result in serious injuries. They have serious consequences both for those who fall and for society.
 
FACTS ABOUT FALLS
 
Research in the past decade has provided considerable information about the extent and the seriousness of falls among older adults.
 
How many older adults fall each year in Canada?
  • Each year, one quarter to one third of all older adults experience at least one fall.
  • In a one-year period, 39.8% of veterans had one or more falls.
 
What is the cost of falls to the health care system?
Health cares costs related to falls are $2.8 billion - almost half of these costs are for older adults who fall.
 
What is the cost for older adults?
Older adults experience multiple costs in relation to falls:
 
Personal injury
Falls are the most common cause of injury for older adults. Falls cause more than 90% of all hip fractures. And, 80% of those who survive a hip fracture lose the ability to perform at least some activities of daily living.
 
Two effective ways to help prevent falls:
Regular physical activity Changes to the environment
 
Fear of falling
Being cautious and aware of risky situations can be healthy. Problems arise when this normal caution becomes a fear of falling. This fear causes many older adults to limit their activities resulting in less physical activity, and reduced strength and flexibility. This in turn can increase the risk of falling.
 
"Eighty percent of seniors don't go out in winter. They are too afraid of falling on ice… Winter is too long and older persons have to close themselves inside because they are so much afraid of falling." Aminzadeh, Edwards, 1997
 
Loss of independent living
Falls can result in the loss of independence for older adults. About 40% of nursing home admissions are the direct result of a fall.
 
Death related to injuries from falls
  • Falls are a major cause of injury related deaths among older adults.
  • Falls are the 6th leading cause of death among older adults in Canada.
  • Twenty percent of older adults who break a hip die within one year.

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