October 12 | 2017
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SENIORS ARE AT HIGHER RISK OF FALLING

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Injuries caused by a fall are a severe health concern that can lead to an acute injury or death. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for children, young adults, and seniors.

What you don’t know

Falls are a leading cause of disability and death, and continue to grow each year. PHAC reported that between 20% and 30% of seniors fall each year. Seniors are more likely to and at higher risk of falling. Individuals with chronic conditions and disabilities fall at least once a year.

Causes

Many factors can cause a fall, some of the most common ones include:

  • Side effects of medication taken to treat chronic or acute illness
  • Balance impairment
  • Chronic conditions and disabilities, such as Parkinson’s put individuals at a high risk
  • Cognitive impairments, such as dementia and side effects from medications taken to treat the impairment
  • Low vision can hinder one’s ability to walk safely and affect an individual’s ability to maintain balance
  • Environmental risk factors, such as the design of a building, home hazards and placement of objects in the room

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We all fall many times throughout our lifetime, however, as an individual gets older, falling becomes much more dangerous. For seniors, a fall can be detrimental and life-threatening, so it’s essential to prevent any possible falls.

Falls and related outcomes not only affects the injured individuals but also impact family, friends, care providers, and the healthcare system. Family members might have to look after them until recovered, which could affect them emotionally, socially and financially.

What to Do

You can’t always be there to prevent a fall from happening. However, you can help minimize the possibility of a fall with fall prevention practice.

  1. A proper assessment should be conducted to identify the potential risks and possibilities of a fall. Take into account any previous falls and the reoccurrence of falls in a month, as well as any physical or environmental factors that could affect their balance.
  2. Consult with a professional and have a medical exam done to better determine if they have any physical disabilities.
  3. Implement any changes needed to prevent future falls.
  4. Ensure that they have access to immediate help in the case of a fall. CHECKMATE SOS_device SOS is a mobile medical alert pendant that lets you send an alarm instantly in times of an emergency. SOS includes automatic fall detection and hands-free two-way communication. In the event that an individual does fall, CHECKMATE SOS will automatically detect the fall and generate an emergency alarm in our Emergency Monitoring Centre to instantly contact help.
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