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.