Finding Balance Campaign designed to raise awareness

The Finding Balance campaign is designed to raise awareness of seniors' falls in Alberta and educate older adults on what they can do

The Finding Balance campaign is designed to raise awareness of seniors’ falls in Alberta and educate older adults on what they can do to stay active and independent and prevent a fall before it happens. The Finding Balance campaign is coordinated by the Injury Prevention Centre (formerly the Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research) in partnership with practitioners across the province.

Are seniors’ falls that serious?

● Anyone can fall, but as you age the risk of falling and being injured increases.

● Falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults in Alberta.

● 1 in 3 seniors living in the community will experience a fall each year, while up to 50% of those living in institutions will fall.

● Falls can have a devastating and lasting impact on an individual resulting in injury, chronic pain, reduced quality of life, and in severe cases, death.

● Even without an injury, a fall can cause a loss in confidence and a reduction in activities for older adults.

● In 2011, there were over 8,700 hospital admissions and over 24,000 emergency department visits for seniors’ fall-related injuries in Alberta. This equates to 24 fall-related hospital admissions and 66 emergency department visits every day.

● The average hospital admission cost due to a fall is $20,500 and the average length of stay in hospital is three weeks.

● Falls cause more than 95% of hip fractures among seniors. Less than 50% will regain their prior level of function and 20% will die within the first year following a hip fracture.

● 40% of all nursing home admissions are the result of falls.

Take action to prevent a fall

Falls are not a normal part of aging and many falls can be prevented.  To reduce the risk of falling:

● Keep active: Exercise for strength and balance.

● Check your medications: Talk to your doctor or pharmacist

● Watch your step: Wherever you are.

● Speak up about dizziness: Tell your doctor and take action.

● If you’ve had a fall, be sure to tell your healthcare provider.