November Is Fall Prevention Month 2019
In 2017, falls were the number one cause of injury-related emergency department (ED) visits in Windsor and Essex County. Anyone can fall, but as you grow older, the risk increases. Indeed, the rate of fall-related ED visits and mortalities was greatest among seniors (65 years old and over); this age group accounted for 9 in 10 fall-related mortalities. That’s why November is Fall Prevention Month 2019.
Not surprisingly, most (67%) fall-related mortalities occur within the home of the injured individual. Falling on the same level (i.e., slip, trip and stumble) was the primary cause of fall-related ED visits and mortalities.
The promising fact is that falls can be predicted and prevented. Apply the following recommendations to help reduce the risk of falls for you, or someone you care for:
- Be physically active. Follow the recommendations in the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines for Older Adults. Moderate to vigorous-intensity activity for at least 150 minutes per week can lead to improved fitness and strength, which is key to preventing falls. Consider joining a friend to be physically active. Choose activities that you enjoy and are fun. For example, walking is a great way to be active.
- Assess and check your risk of falling. Many factors can increase your risk of falling. The main risks are difficulty walking and problems with balance or vision. Consider asking your healthcare provider for an assessment to identify your risk of falling.
- Talk to your health care provider about changes to your health. Discuss health conditions that may increase your risk of having a fall. For example, certain conditions like diabetes and Vitamin B12 deficiency, if not controlled or treated, can increase your risk of falling. Always inform your health care provider if you have a fall.
- Verify medications. Have your medications reviewed by your Pharmacist regularly for side effects and interactions that may increase your risk of falling.
- Review your home environment. Consider working with your family to complete a checklist and to remove any hazards in and around your home. Take the time to complete one of the many fall prevention fact sheets or checklist.
During Fall Prevention Month in Windsor-Essex County, you can participate in educational sessions at Devonshire Mall, 3100 Howard Avenue each Wednesday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. and visit interactive displays from 8 a.m. until 9:20 a.m. in the food court.
You can also visit your local library to pick up a fall prevention information kit. Or, you can call 211 or search 211ontario.ca for information on local fall prevention services and exercise programs.
Let’s all do our part to prevent falls. It takes a community to prevent a fall, and we all have a role to play.
Supplied By The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, in partnership with other agencies and health care providers, seeks to enable all Windsor and Essex County residents to be as healthy as possible. The unit is located at 1005 Ouellette Avenue in Windsor and online.