CONSTANTLY RISING OVER THE PAST DECADE, FALLS AMONG SENIORS ARE CAUSING TWICE AS MANY DEATHS AS MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

On National Injury Prevention Day; get support to help reduce deadly falls

OTTAWA, ON, June 28, 2022 /CNW/ – Getting injured can occur anywhere, at home, in the workplace or while practising your favourite sport. On National Injury Prevention Day, taking place on July 5ththe Canadian Kinesiology Alliance wants to help raise awareness about the devastating effects of predictable and preventable injuries, especially among seniors affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an alarming situation as the number of fall-related hospitalizations of older adults increased 47% and the mortality rate due to falls also increased over the past ten years1. Although rarely making headlines, falls among seniors caused twice as many deaths as motor vehicle accidents (4,849 vs 1,939)2.

FALL-RELATED INJURIES AMONG SENIORS

According to the World Health Organization, about a third of seniors fall each year1. This results in 85% of injury-related hospitalizations, 95% of all hip fractures and 61% of injury deaths for older Canadians3. Among this group, women, those aged 80 or older, and older people who live alone or have low income are more at risk when it comes to falling. Falls on the same level (slipping, tripping or stumbling), falls involving furniture and falls on stairs are the top three types of falls that lead to serious injury and death among seniors.

PREVENTION IS KEY

Falls among seniors are preventable; however, their multifactorial nature means that addressing this growing public health problem is a shared responsibility. Progress in the prevention of falls and their resulting injuries require continued multisectoral collaboration, including governments, healthcare providers, non-government organizations, care associations and services, and Canadians themselves.

Over the past two years, many seniors were confined to their home and had limited chances to be physically activeexplains Angelie Carterpresident of the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance. We now need to ensure they can get back to a more active lifestyle as quickly as possible if we want to prevent an increase in falls in the following years, a number that is already too high. Through tailored safe physical activities that challenge balance, kinesiologists, as human movement experts, can help seniors strengthen their hips and their legs to prevent falling. Moreover, a kinesiologist can also provide information about the impact of dehydration, low blood sugar, and medical conditions that can cause someone to fall.”

On top of working out regularly, the environment where people live is also key to prevent falls as half of falls resulting in hospitalization occur in a household residence1, continues Ms. Carter. This is why it is important to assess someone’s home for fall hazards and help them make it safer. Health professionals such as a kinesiologist can evaluate the fall risk in someone’s home and help make changes to ensure safety.”

QUICK FACTS
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  • Every day, 48 Canadians die and 634 are hospitalized because of falls, making it the leading cause of injury deaths, hospitalizations, emergency department visits and disabilities in Canada.
  • Every day on average in Canada13 seniors die and 259 are hospitalized following a fall. In 2018, this resulted in 4,849 deaths, 94,529 hospitalizations, 424,609 emergency department visits and 28,310 disabilities.
  • 75 per cent of injury-related deaths are from unintentional causes, such as falls, car crashes and poisonings.
  • Injuries related to falls involving seniors cost the health-care system $5.6 billion a year, that’s $15.3 million a day. The total cost of injuries to the Canadian economy equals $80 million every day ($29.4 billion each year).

TIPS TO PREVENT FALLS

  • Do balance exercises and resistance exercises that focus on the upper legs, hips and core strength (such as OTAGO or SAIL exercises, tai chi, water aerobics, chair yoga and strength exercises with weights).
  • Safe proof your home to minimize the risks (removing throw rugs, adding lighting on the stairs, installing sturdy handrail, etc.).
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Maintain a balanced diet.
  • Monitor medication as some might be contributing to feeling dizzy or falling

ABOUT THE CANADIAN KINESIOLOGY ALLIANCE

Kinesiologists are human movement specialists who provide scientific advice and physical activity treatments that improve recovery, health and well-being, through all phases of life. They can also help manage and prevent 25 of the most common chronic conditions such as arthritis, back pain, heart failure or stroke, coronary heart disease, hypertension, pulmonary problems, anxiety, depression, diabetes and obesity. The Canadian Kinesiology Alliance (CKA) is a non-profit corporation that advocates and promotes the advancement of the profession of kinesiology in Canada. The CKA strives to be recognized as the unifying voice for the profession of kinesiology in Canada and to have a positive impact on Canadians. On a national level, the CKA represents ten provincial kinesiology associations (PKAs) that are member associations and over 4,400 affiliated Kinesiologists. The CKA establishes and promotes the standards of the profession across Canada.

Find a Kinesiologist: www.cka.ca.
Consult the Moving Forward with COVID-19 – Kinesiology Guidelines.
Watch videos to better understand how Kinesiologists can help.
Facebook and Twitter: @CdnKinesiology

SOURCE Canadian Kinesiology Alliance

For further information: To schedule an interview or for more information, contact: Sophie Allard, APR, (888) 523-2783, ext. 771 or [email protected]

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