Falling is an important health risk for adults over age 65 in Ontario. In 2004, falls on the same level caused 88 deaths and 11,805 hospitalisations. These falls also lead to 3,455 permanent partial disabilities and 256 permanent total disabilities among adults over 65.
The most common type of fall is caused by slipping or tripping on the same level, followed by falling on stairs. These types of falls account for 1/3 of all emergency department visits related to falling. Of these the emergency department visits, 1/4 of patients were over 65 years old. For hospitalisations related to falling, over 3/5 of patients were over 65.
Preventing falls is very important to remaining independent, healthy, and mobile as you age. The injuries that happen from falls can have devastating effects on your quality of life. In addition to the physical damage of serious muscle or bone injury, the fear of having another fall may cause feelings of dependence, lower your amount of physical activity, and end up increasing the risk of having another fall. Taking care to stay on your feet is a very important part of staying in good health.
There are three main categories of things to do to lower your risk of falling: there are things to look for in the home, things to keep in mind regarding medication, and ideas for staying physically active. If you’re thinking about how to reduce your risk of falling, or your loved one’s risk, take a look at the tips on the pages below to see if you can do anything different in your environment to stay healthy and independent as long as possible.