The Province today unveiled a suite of multimedia training resources that will support physicians and other health professionals to educate seniors in ways to prevent falls and stay healthy.
Falls result in serious consequences to older people and cost the B.C. health care system approximately $155 million annually. In 2010, more than 12,000 seniors were hospitalized for a fall-related injury in British Columbia and there were 940 deaths due to falls in 2009.
A history of prior falls, decreased muscle strength and poor balance are most strongly associated with an increased risk of falling among seniors. Evidence shows that many of these falls and injuries can be predicted and prevented.
The fall prevention multimedia package includes a video as well as written resources aimed at engaging both seniors and doctors. The video highlights some of the ways to reduce fall risks, common health conditions related to falls and practical assessment tools.
The resources offer safe and easy-to-follow exercises, recommendations for good sleep habits and ways to make a senior's home safer to reduce falls.
The home activity handout includes seven seated and standing exercises seniors can do to help stay healthy and prevent a fall. When done routinely and progressively, these simple exercises are effective to increase strength and improve balance.
Health promotion and prevention applies to all ages. Seniors have a role to play in the Healthy Families BC initiative. This $68.7-million strategy will help British Columbians make healthy choices and introduce innovative approaches to challenges facing the health care system. Healthy Families BC supports seniors in managing their health and reducing chronic disease.
This announcement also reflects the Premier's commitment to ensure that the provision of services, including access to health care, is looked at through a rural lens. Seniors and physicians across B.C. will have access to the information that is being made available.
- One out of three seniors aged 65+ typically fall once or more each year.
- Those who fall are two-to-three times more likely to fall again.
- There are approximately 12,000 fall-related hospitalizations in B.C. each year for seniors aged 65+.
- 95 per cent of all hip fractures among seniors are due to a fall.
- Seniors' with fall-related injuries tend to stay in hospital twice as long as seniors hospitalized for all other reasons.
- Information on falls prevention can be found at: www.SeniorsBC.ca/stayingindependent.
- Information on seniors - www.seniorsbc.ca.
- Fall prevention video - www.gpscbc.ca/psp-learning/clinical-management/videos-chronic-disease-management-cdm.
- Fall prevention resources - http://www.gpscbc.ca/psp-learning/chronic-disease-management/tools-resources.
- BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit - www.injuryresearch.bc.ca.
- Centre of Excellence on Mobility, Fall Prevention and Injury in Aging -www.hiphealth.ca/CEMFIA.
Manager of Media Relations
Ministry of Health
250 952-1889 (media line)