Falls and their subsequent injures are an important and preventable problem that are influenced by many factors among seniors, including physical, behavioral, environmental, social and economic factors. Even without an injury, a fall can decrease confidence and reduce involvement in daily activities among older adults.

Statistics

  • Every day in Alberta... There were 20 fall-related hospital admissions and 53 emergency department visits.
  • Every hour in Alberta... There were more than 2 fall-related emergency department visits.
  • Almost one out of every three fall-related emergency department visits resulted in admission to hospital.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury death and accounted for 34% with 146 deaths.
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury hospital admissions and accounted for 78% with 7,786 hospital admissions.
  • Falls are the leading cause of emergency department visits and accounted for 57% with 20,030 emergency department visits.
  • Alberta had the 3rd highest senior falls hospital admissions rate for reporting provinces.
  • Every year seniors’ falls hospital admissions costs Alberta $160 million.
  • 40% of all nursing home admissions are due to a fall.
  • The average length of stay in hospital due to injuries from a fall is 3 weeks.
  • One out of 3 seniors 65 years of age and older will fall at least once a year.
  • One out of 2 seniors 80 years of age and older will fall at least once a year.

Prevention Messages

  • Keep active. Exercise for strength and balance:
    • Ask your doctor or health care provider about the best type of exercise program for you.
    • Do at least 30 minutes of activity every day. You can break this into three sessions that last 10 minutes.
    • Try all three kinds of physical activity: Strength, Endurance and Stretching.
    • Choose activities you enjoy!
  • Check your medications, talk to your doctor or pharmacist:
    • Every year, show your doctor or pharmacist all the medicine that you take. Show them your prescriptions, over-the-counter pills, vitamins and herbal supplements.
    • When you get older, some medicine can change the way your body works and can make you fall.
    • Medicines that relax you, help you sleep or improve your mood can make you fall.
    • Alcohol and medicine can make you fall – be careful.
  • Watch your step wherever you are:
    • Make sure there is lots of light for pathways, halls and stairways. Keep things off the floor.
    • Ask your doctor about what kind of grab bar you should put in your bathroom.
    • When you are walking, watch out for ice, cracks and other things that can make you trip.
    • Get your eyes checked every year.
    • Wear shoes that support your feet, have a closed heel and adequate traction/grip.
    • Do not rush or do too many things at once.
  • Speak up about dizziness. Tell your doctor and take action.
    • There are many different causes of dizziness, including some medications.
    • Ask your health care provider to test your blood pressure lying down and standing up. You may feel dizzy if your blood pressure drops quickly when you get up.
    • After lying in bed or sitting in a chair, move your arms and ankles then get up slowly.
    • Dehydration can make you dizzy. Drink 6 - 8 glasses of fluids including water each day or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Resources & Toolkits


Watch Your Step 2016, National Fall Prevention Conference Presentations

Supportive Programs