We can’t ignore the facts: A senior is hospitalized for a fall every 10 minutes. About 40% of these falls involve a hip fracture, and about half of the seniors who suffer hip fractures never fully recover.
In economic terms, the cost is staggering: Canadians spend about $3 billion a year on injuries related to seniors falling. Even worse, the quality of life for seniors who have fallen is seriously affected. In the short term, a fall may mean hospitalization and surgery. In the long term, it may mean the loss of independence or the inability to participate in cherished activities.
Some people believe that falls are a normal part of aging and can’t be prevented, or think that it won’t happen to them. The truth is: everyone is at risk. The good news is that many risk factors are within our control to change.
- Keep your body active: You are less likely to fall if you have strong muscles and good balance.
- Have your eyes checked by an optometrist once a year: Good vision can reduce your risk of falling.
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications: Some medications can make you fell drowsy, dizzy, or unsteady on your feet.
- Make your home safer: Falls are often due to home hazards that are easy to overlook but easy to fix.