Why focus on falls prevention for the older adult?
Here are some statistics according to Health Canada and others about falls:
1 in 3 seniors will fall once and are more likely to fall aging.
Canadians spend $3 Billion annually in direct health costs related to falls.
Falls are the #1 leading cause of injury for the older adult.
Falls are the 6th leading cause of death for older adults.
Older adults who fall are 3 times more likely to need nursing homes or long term care placement.
(2 in 4 people with hip fractures will go to long term care)
Older adults are 5 times likely to fall than any other age group.
These statistics do not include the falls that are reported to the family doctor, other health care providers, clinics,
families or are not just reported at all.
Anyone can fall but there may be ways to prevent one.
Falls are not a part of aging, an increase of falls, tripping or slipping in not normal. Risk factors for falls include:
How to Prevent Falls
Stay active , physically and mentally. Fear of falling and the possibility of losing independence can be emotionally and physically debilitating and results in more falls.
Have medications reviewed by the doctor. The average senior takes 6 medications each day. Never stop or start medications without talking to a doctor.
Prescribed assistive devices, like a cane or walker, should be used as directed.
Get you vision and hearing routinely checked by a doctor.
Shoes should fit properly and when walking, shuffling should be avoided because this may cause a fall.
Slow down, plan ahead, and choose smart.
Don't over reach over your shoulders or over bend below your knees.
Keep areas uncluttered and well lit.
Maintain a balanced diet and limit alcohol intake.
If falls occurs, even if there is no physical injury, shock may have been experienced. The individual should:
Stay still for a few minutes and try to think clearly.
Decide if it is safe to get up or if help is needed.
Acknowledge any fear or pain
Then sit down, rest and tell someone about the fall.
Click here to see a sample of topics that will be discussed.
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