Falls are the most common cause of injury for B.C. seniors, despite evidence that shows most are preventable.
Nov. 5-11 was Seniors’ Fall Prevention Awareness Week, created to raise awareness around the prevention of falls and injuries among older adults.
One in three British Columbians over the age of 65 will experience at least one fall every year. Injury from a fall often results in chronic pain, disability, reduced quality of life and is the main reason why older adults lose their independence. Nearly 40 per cent of all fall-related hospitalizations involve a hip fracture — which greatly impacts the health and well-being of seniors, as well as the B.C. health-care system.
The government of B.C. is working to help educate British Columbians on fall prevention in order to keep seniors safe, active and independent.
There are many resources available to help older adults stay fall and injury free, including videos, brochures, booklets and guides. The new edition of the BC Seniors’ Guide also provides tips on healthy aging and fall prevention.
In addition to providing resources, the B.C. government supports the prevention of falls by working with health authorities, health-care professionals, injury-prevention experts and the public in developing fall-prevention projects and programs, including:
• Strategies and Actions for Independent Living (SAIL) Falls Prevention Project — a training program for community-health workers and home-health professionals that addresses falls and related risk factors among clients of publicly funded home support services. Health authorities are currently implementing SAIL and are expanding its scope across their regions.
• Framework and Toolkit for Fall Related Injury Prevention in Residential Care — resources for health-care professionals to support planning, implementation, distribution and evaluation of fall-prevention programs in residential care.