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Published on Thursday, November 23, 2023

GBPH sharing strategies, resources to mark Fall Prevention Month in November

Falls can happen to anyone, at any age, and can significantly affect both the physical and mental health of individuals, potentially leading to life-altering consequences.

In Grey-Bruce, the age-standardized rate of emergency department visits due to falls is the second-highest among Ontario’s public health units at about 1.5 times greater than the provincial average.

The local rate of emergency department visits attributed to falls is well above the provincial average in every age category. The age-standardized rate of hospitalizations due to falls in Grey-Bruce is also higher than the Ontario average.

“Falls can have short-term impacts, such as pain, bruising, breaks, strains, and fractures, as well as devastating and long-lasting consequences, particularly for older adults. This can include chronic pain, reduced mobility, and a loss of confidence or fear of falling again – all of which can affect a person’s quality and enjoyment of life,” says Jason Weppler, Program Manager of Health Promotion at Grey Bruce Public Health.

As November is Fall Prevention Month in Canada, Grey Bruce Public Health is working to raise awareness about the prevalence and potential impacts of falls across the lifespan and sharing fall prevention strategies.

“While falls are the leading cause of unintentional injuries in Grey-Bruce, the good news is that most falls can be avoided,” Weppler says.

The following are some key strategies for preventing falls among older adults:

  • Exercising. Regular physical activity can boost balance, strength, and flexibility.
  • Getting enough sleep.
  • Taking your time. Don’t rush when walking or getting up.
  • Balancing your body through good nutrition and hydration.
  • Getting your sight and hearing checked regularly.
  • Reviewing medications regularly with your pharmacist or primary care provider and discussing any potential side effects that may cause dizziness or impact balance.
  • Wearing well-fitting, sturdy shoes.
  • Consider using a cane or other mobility device if needed.

Strategies for preventing falls in the home include: ensuring hallways, stairs, and walkways, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms have proper lighting; keeping stairs free of clutter and other potential hazards; installing handrails along interior and exterior stairs and safety grab bars in the bathroom; checking the home for slipping and tripping hazards; and using non-slip mats or rugs.

More information on preventing falls across the lifespan is available on Grey Bruce Public Health’s website at the following link: Fall Prevention.

Parachute Canada also has multiple resources related to fall prevention among older adults and fall prevention among children.
 

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For media inquiries, please call 519-376-9420 ext. 1315 or email Communications@publichealthgreybruce.on.ca

 

 

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