Falls are among the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors, and it is estimated that 20-30% of seniors fall each year. Research suggests that falls are the direct cause of 95% of all hip fractures, and that over one third of seniors who are hospitalized for a fall are discharged to long-term care from hospital.
Unfortunately, the risk of falling does increase as we age, however many falls can be prevented. Some of the causes of falls can include poor balance, decreased muscle strength, reduced vision or hearing, and unsafe conditions in and around the home. By making some simple adjustments to your home and lifestyle, you can help yourself to stay safe and independent at home.
One of the best ways to prevent falls is to stay fit by engaging in physical activity every day. As we age, it becomes harder to maintain the same muscle strength, flexibility, and balance that we had when we were younger. The good news is that you can maintain and even improve on these factors by participating in regular exercise. A registered physiotherapist can teach you how to do exercises that are safe and appropriate for you to stay strong and prevent falls. You can also talk to a physiotherapist about what adjustments you could make to your home to make it as safe as possible.
Government of Canada. (2016, April 28). You CAN Prevent Falls! Retrieved from Public Health Agency of Canada: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/prevent-eviter/index-eng.php
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