20 to 30 percent of Canadian seniors fall each year, meaning falls are the number one cause of injury in older Canadians (1). Falls often lead to hospitalization and surgery. Injuries caused by falls are not only difficult for those who are personally affected; they also cause financial stress for the economy and are emotionally draining for caretakers.
More Than 90 Percent of Falls are Preventable
There is one good thing about falls: they can be prevented. The Canadian Physiotherapy Association stated, “More than 90% of incidents (falls) that result in injuries are predictable and preventable (2).” When seniors are made aware of this, they become empowered to learn how to be less vulnerable to falls.
Preventing Falls in 3 Steps: a Guide for Seniors
Fears concerning falling and losing one’s independence are replaced with confidence when preventative measures are taken. Here are a few things seniors can do to prevent falls:
1. Get regular vision exams — One reason some seniors fall is because their vision isn’t as good as it should be. It’s easy to stumble over objects when you can’t see clearly. Ensure your vision stays sharp by getting regular eye exams and wearing any corrective lenses your eye doctor prescribes.
2. Learn about the side effects of medication — Certain medications make people, specifically seniors, more susceptible to falls. Ask your physician or pharmacist if any of the medications you take can cause you to feel off balance. This will help you modify your daily activities around your dosing times if necessary.
3. Work with a physiotherapist — Physiotherapy isn’t just for the injured. It is also for people who want to avoid injuries and falls. According to Physiotherapy New Zealand, a physiotherapist can…
- “Help seniors maintain strength, mobility, and independence with evidence-based exercise programs.”
- Assist seniors in recovering from falls and becoming independent again.
- Develop strategies to prevent future falls (3).
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association said, “Physiotherapists not only treat injuries, they also teach you how to prevent the onset of pain or injury that can limit your ability. A physiotherapist can help evaluate the home environment to identify ways to prevent unnecessary accidents (2).”
There is truly no better way to prevent falls than by working with a physiotherapist. In the fight against falls, physiotherapy is the best weapon.
Related Reading: 5 Simple Ways to Prevent Falls this Winter
Contact a Physiotherapist to Learn More About Preventing Falls
Mental, emotional, physical, and financial suffering can be avoided by taking actions that prevent falls. Seniors can prevent falls by…
- Regularly getting vision exams
- Discussing medications with a physician
- Working with a physiotherapist
If you live near Winnipeg and want to connect with a physiotherapist, contact the friendly team at Elite Sports Injury Physiotherapy Clinics. They are eager to help you become stronger than you’ve ever been.
Read more about physiotherapy and falls in our blog article You Can Prevent Falls, Breaks, and Other Injuries with Physiotherapy.
- Government of Canada. Senior’s falls in Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/aging-seniors/publications/publications-general-public/seniors-falls-canada-second-report.html.
- Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Preventing falls: physiotherapists provide tips for seniors. http://physiocanhelp.ca/blog/preventing-falls-physiotherapists-provide-tips-seniors/.
- Physiotherapy New Zealand. Falls prevention. http://physiotherapy.org.nz/assets/Your-health/PNZ-Falls-Prevention.pdf.