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Posted: November 15, 2020

Take action to reduce your risk of falls

By Beth Ballard

Falls account for 85% of all injury related hospitalization for older adults and local physiotherapists are ready to help reduce those risks.

November is Fall Prevention Month. PhysioFITT is focusing on falls prevention all month long on our Facebook page to raise awareness and to help prevent falls and falls related injuries in older adults.

As health care providers, we regularly work with people who have had a fall in the past, or who are admitted to the hospital because of a fall.  These clients often voice their fear of falling again.  Many people are admitted to hospital to recover from an injury or to regain their mobility after a fall.  Working with a health professional to reduce your risk factors and improve your fitness can drastically reduce your risk of falls in the future.

Older adults who were hospitalized because of a fall spent on average three weeks in hospital, three times the average hospital stay for all ages in Canada.

Half of all the falls leading to hospitalization occurred in the home.  Falls are the direct cause of 95% of all hip fractures among older adults.

It takes a community to prevent a fall, and we all have a role to play.  Here are a few tips to start reducing the risk of falls:

  1. Stay physically active.  Exercising can help improve your muscle strength, balance and flexibility.  physiotherapists can help create individualized programs to help you with these goals.
  1. Complete a medication review with your family physician or pharmacist. Many medications can have side effects that can increase your risk of falls.
  2. Have your vision checked yearly. Vision changes can affect your ability to navigate safely in your environment.
  3. Complete a home safety assessment including removing clutter, ensuring proper lighting, removing throw rugs, and using appropriate adaptive equipment such as grab bars or bath stools. Therapists can help provide suggestions to improve safety in your home.
  4. Consider a medic alert line. Using an alert line can help get you the medical attention you need quickly if you have had a fall.
  5. Get assessed for proper footwear and mobility equipment. Proper footwear can help prevent slips and using a gait aid such as a walker or cane can help improve your stability. Therapists can assess your gait and provide suggestions to improve your mobility.

On November 30 at 7 p.m. we will be hosting a free seminar Take Action to Reduce Falls on ZOOM.  PhysioFITT Therapists Beth Ballard and Charla Gaudet will review risk factors for falls, home modifications, and simple exercises to improve balance and fitness.  Sign up for this seminar by emailing [email protected].

– Beth Ballard is a Physiotherapist with PhysioFITT.

PhysioFITT provides physiotherapy services where you need it when you need it.  Helping keep you FITT for Life. For more information contact: [email protected]


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