Inclement weather, shorter daylight hours, and patches of slippery wet leaves make November a particularly dangerous time to step outside for seniors or people with low mobility. All month, the health and wellness community recognizes November as Fall Prevention Month in Canada. The purpose of this initiative is to encourage organizations and citizens alike to become more aware of potential accidents causing harmful slip and falls and to promote fall prevention.
A Few Facts About Slip-and-Falls
According to Finding Balance Alberta, one in three Albertans over 65 years old will fall at least once a year, and 95% of hip fractures in this province are caused by falling. Falling is the leading cause of injury in the senior population. In Alberta alone, there were 9,000 hospital admissions related to falls in 2016. Patients entering hospitals for fall-related injuries spent an average of 23 days in recovery. Many senior citizens often find it difficult to live at home after their injuries. In Alberta, 40% of new nursing home admissions are a direct result of a dangerous fall. The cost to public health care from slip-and-fall accidents is over $280 billion annually.
Lower Your Risk of Falling
Fall prevention starts with everyone take an honest personal inventory of their health. If you suspect that your eyesight, balance, or bone health may be suffering, speak to your doctor about what you can do to mitigate the risk of a fall. Here are some basic ways to reduce your chance of falling:
- Don’t leave anything on the stairs or walkway that you might accidentally trip over
- Wear appropriate footwear that is both comfortable and supportive
- Visit your optometrist for a vision test
- Get up slowly from a seated position
- Always use a railing when walking up stairs
- Ensure all snow and ice are removed from your stairs and entrance
- Keep your house and porch well-lit
- Ask your doctor if any of the medication you’re taking has side effects that may cause dizziness
- Keep your body fit and healthy with nutritious meals, strength-training, and stretching
- Invest in mobility support equipment, such as a rollator, walker, cane, or walking poles.
Maintain Your Independence
For many seniors, a slip-and-fall injury can indicate the end of their independence and their ability to live alone. Before deciding to enter into a nursing home, slip-and-fall victims can instead choose to modify their homes to accommodate their limited mobility. If you’ve recently suffered an injury from falling, you know how important safety is. That’s why Healthcare Solutions has many options available to help you modify your home and stairs. Come into one of our Edmonton locations or shop online for our mobility products.