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Expert Advice on Preventing Falls Among Seniors

Seniors Safety · Oct 26, 2021

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among Canadian seniors, starting at the age of just 65? But many of us seem to think falls happen much later in life. According to a Leger survey commissioned by the National Institute on Ageing (NIA) and TELUS Health, the majority of Canadians (66 per cent) believe that the victims of falls are between the age of 75-84.

Many Canadians may not be aware that they or their aging loved ones could be more vulnerable to falls and their many possible health consequences. Fall Prevention Month (November) is a great time to learn more about the risks for falls and ways to keep them from happening:

1. Get the best advice

Despite the risks and the desire of seniors to live safely and independently at home, over half of Canadians (55%) said they have not spoken to their healthcare professional about what to do if a fall occurs to themselves or a loved one. Start with opening the discussion with your family doctor. They can share tips and support on preventing falls, as well as managing health following a fall, that suit you and your specific needs.

2. Evaluate the risk

It’s important to assess a senior’s risk for falls, especially within their own home. Creating a trip-free environment with clear and well-lit pathways, using non-slip mats or rugs, and installing safety grab bars in bathrooms can all help prevent falls from happening in the first place.

3. Stay active

Staying active can also help reduce accidents. Going on walks around your neighbourhood or following online fitness videos can help strengthen muscles, increase stability, improve one’s mood and maintain a healthy immune system to help prevent illness and even facilitate quicker recovery from injury.

4. Be prepared.

Falls do happen, so it’s important to plan for unexpected medical emergencies. Consider a personal emergency response system (PERS) such as the LivingWell Companion from TELUS Health, which quickly connects you to trained operators who can alert emergency support services and family contacts should a fall or medical accident occur. The device provides peace of mind to seniors and their loved ones, knowing that help is available at the push of a button.

Find more information on fall prevention, and how you can help older loved ones stay independent and safe, at fallpreventionmonth.ca.