We passionately believe there is simply no excuse not to take charge of fall prevention measures in your own home or an aging parents home! Falls have become epidemic in Canada. Every year approximately one-third of adults 65 or older fall in their home, and half of those over age 80 fall annually, resulting in injury, long-term disability and premature loss of independence. This is a preventable epidemic.
Age Safe Canada was created in an effort to help reduce and prevent falls and their associated costs by promoting the necessity to make the necessary preparations NOW to ensure ongoing freedom and independence for all.
Fall Prevention is a variety of actions to help reduce the number of accidental falls suffered by older people. Falls and fall related injuries are among the most serious and common medical problems experienced by older adults.
Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults. More than half the injury-related hospitalizations in Canada are for seniors 65+ and the leading cause of injury in seniors is falls, accounting for more than 81% of hospitalizations. (Canadian Institute for Health Information). It is estimated that 20-30% of seniors experience at least one fall each year (Public Health Agency of Canada). Of those that fall, close to 20% will die within a year of the fall meaning falls are the number reason for injury-related death for seniors in Canada.
Falling once doubles your chances of falling again. Most falls are caused by a combination of risk factors. The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chance of falling. Although this data is staggering, less than half of those who fall will tell their doctor.
Baby Boomers are a generation that remembers cars without seat belts or clicking them closed and sitting on top of them. In the late 60’s there were many misconceptions around seat belts such as saying that seat belts would prevent passengers from escaping their cars if submerged in water or in the case of a fire. Some even felt it was actually safer to be thrown from a car in an accident. Today literally everyone agrees that seat belts are an effective injury-reducing device that saves lives; and so do grab bars. By taking the simple action of installing grab bars, Canadians can significantly reduce trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults, and the skyrocketing cost of fall-related injuries.
Falls are the leading cause of seniors injury related hospitalizations. Of those seniors who experience a fall, close to 20% die within one year of the fall.
We hope our message can help them and their family members to understand and acknowledge the magnitude of this problem. To Canadians, especially older adults, there are few virtues more important than freedom and independence.
There are several simple and affordable modifications such as lighting and non-slip surfaces that can easily be done by homeowners or family members yet provide immediate safety benefits to residents and visitors. First get rid of anything you or your lived one could trip over. Make sure the home has lots of light by adding more or brighter light bulbs. Modifications such as adding grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower as well as next to the toilet, or adding railings on both sides of a stairwell or in a hallway may best done by a qualified contractor or handyman.
The cost of seniors falling in estimated at over $5.6B annually (2018) and that is nearly 20% of the total costs of injury in Canada (Parachute Canada). These figures will continue to climb as the population ages.
The proportion of Canadians aged 65 or older is projected to increase from 17.5% in 2019 to between 21.4% and 29.5% by 2068.
Age Safe Canada supports the multitude of government and advocacy work around reducing the risk of falls in Canada
Age Safe® CanadaSince 2015 a national membership, training, advocacy and services organization.
4 Simple Tips to Prevent Falls
– Talk to your doctor and review your medications.
– Exercise to help increase leg strength and balance.
– Have your eyes checked annually to update glasses.
– Make your home safer…and install grab bars today!
2 Ways Age Safe® Canada Helps
Comprehensive Home Safety Assessment
Senior Home Safety Specialists™ help families determine the steps necessary to maximize both safety and independence. They do this by providing a very comprehensive home safety assessment then giving recommendations and solutions for fall prevention, home modifications and crime prevention, all to help older adults enjoy the freedom and independence to “age safe® at home”.
Senior Home Safety Specialist Certification
The Senior Home Safety Specialist™ course is another way Age Safe Canada is helping to impact this national crisis. The course empowers professionals with actionable ways to better help educate clients, older adults and their family members on the serious issues of home safety, fall prevention, financial exploitation and personal safety. This comprehensive 5-hour self-paced online course offers the only certification of its kind to individuals within the senior services industry.