National Age Safe Strategy

Age Safe® Canada

Age Safe® Canada

 

It is time to implement a National Age Safe® Strategy at the family, community, provincial and federal level. For the first time ever, there are now more people in Canada age 65 and over than there are under age 15, according to Statistics Canada. That puts pressure on the health system and pension system because there’s a smaller cohort of working age people to support that.  Canada’s publicly funded health care system was created some 50 years ago when the population was just over 20 million and Canadians could expect to live approximately 71 years. Today, we now have a population of over 36 million and on average Canadians will live a full decade longer.

 

Falls account for 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, making this the leading cause of injury-related admissions for seniors. The average Canadian senior had to stay in hospital 10 days longer for falls than for any other cause. Falls are associated with over 1/3 of admissions to long-term care facilities after being released from the hospital. Apart from personal suffering, loss of independence and lower quality of life, the costs of seniors’ injuries to the health system are enormous – approximately $3.4 billion annually is spent on direct health care costs. (approx. 6 million Canadians over 65 as of July 2016)

 

Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults.

Falls account for $3.4 billion in direct health care costs annually.

 

Falls Cause Injuries and Death

Falls are the leading cause of injuries among Canadians 65 years and over. Between 20% and 30% of community-dwelling Canadian seniors experience one fall each year. Research suggests that falls are the direct cause of 95% of all hip fractures, leading to death in 20% of cases.

 

Hospitalization

Falls account for 85% of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, making this the leading cause of injury-related admissions for seniors. The average Canadian senior had to stay in hospital 10 days longer for falls than for any other cause. Falls are associated with over 1/3 of admissions to long-term care facilities after being released from the hospital.

 

Cost of Injuries

Apart from personal suffering, loss of independence and lower quality of life, the costs of seniors’ injuries to the health system are enormous – approximately $2 billion annually is spent on direct health care costs.

 

Where Injuries Occur

Approximately half of all falls that lead to hospitalization among seniors occur at home. The bathroom and stairs are particularly hazardous due to the risk of slipping, tripping and stumbling.

 

Fear of Falling

Seniors who fall may limit their activities for fear of falling again. Yet by limiting activities, they are likely to lose strength and flexibility and increase their risk of falling again. Maintaining physical activity is essential if you wish to prevent falls and injury.

 

Source: Seniors’ Falls in Canada: Second Report