ConnectABILITY

Falling is a very serious health problem for seniors

Facts

  • One third of seniors over the age of 65 have a fall every year and half of them have more than one fall.
  • Falls are the most common cause of injury.
  • Seniors are nine times more likely to have an injury than someone under 65.
  • Approximately one third of injury related hospitalizations for seniors are the result of falls.
  • Half of all falls happen at home.

Precautions to Take to Reduce the Risk of Falling

A person with a developmental disability may require the support of a family member, friend and/or a staff person to assist in communicating with and coordinating supports with their Doctor and other specialists. It is helpful to keep a daily or weekly log of observations of any health issues to review with your Doctor, other supports and specialists. This will be most beneficial when an individual can not express themselves without support. In your log, write down any questions you may have as they come up. Take this with you to all appointments or consultations. This will ensure that all concerns have been addressed and lead to an accurate assessment.

  • Speak to your doctor about fall prevention.
  • Have regular vision and hearing tests.
  • Take prescription and over the counter medications correctly.
  • Keep a medication record and review it regularly with the doctor and pharmacy.
  • Tell your doctor if your medication makes you dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Get help and advice from a qualified Occupational and Physical Therapist.
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Develop a good and safe program for staying active.

Sources:

  • Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA) issue number 3, November 2002—Preventing Falls in Older Adults by MARK Speechley, PhD, University of Western Ontario
  • Active Independent Aging — A community guide for falls prevention and Active living – Handout 1. A guide to preventing Falls
  • Public Health Agency of Canada handout — If you fall or witness a fall, do you know what to do?

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