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Older Adults AND FALLS PREVENTION - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Older Adults AND FALLS PREVENTION. If you have parents or grandparents who are in their senior years, you probably know that they are at an increased risk of falling. Vicious Fall Cycle. Having a fall can create a vicious cycle for increasing the risk of having more falls.

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Older adults and falls prevention




Older adults and falls prevention

Vicious fall cycle
Vicious Fall Cycle years,

  • Having a fall can create a vicious cycle for increasing the risk of having more falls.

Older adults and falls prevention

Some alarming facts
Some Alarming Facts lead to:

  • 65% of all injuries are the result of unintentional falls for those aged 65 and older (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2006)

  • 62% of injury-related hospitalizations for older adults are the result of falls (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2005)

  • 47% of falls by older adults that required hospitalization occurred in and around the home (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2005)




Risks of falling
Risks of Falling lead to:

  • There are many interrelated reasons why older adults have an increased risk of falling. Biological, medical, behavioural, and environmental factors include:

    • Increased muscle weakness and reduced physical fitness in balance, flexibility, and coordination.

    • Reduced ability to react quickly to a loss of balance.

    • Changes in vision.

    • Changes in health, such as developing arthritis, osteoporosis and other chronic diseases.

More risks of falling
More Risks of Falling lead to:

  • Taking certain medications, alone or in combination, can cause drowsiness, dizziness, or weakness.

  • Inadequate diet, particularly low intakes of calcium and vitamin D needed for bone health, and low intakes of protein needed for muscle strength.

  • Fear of falling, leading to inadequate balance control and lack of confidence.

Alcohol and falls
Alcohol and Falls lead to:

  • Drinking too much alcohol can also increase the risk for falls in some people, especially older adults.

Home safety
Home lead to:Safety

  • There are also unsafe conditions or hazards in the home and community that can increase the risk of falling.

The good news is

Physical fitness lead to:

Eating well

Review of medications

Vision and hearing aid use

Home safety measures

The Good News Is…

Falls CAN be prevented!

Falling does not have to be part of “normal” aging.

There is a lot that can be done to prevent older adults from falling. Certain risks can be eliminated and others can be greatly reduced with the following:

Physical fitness
Physical Fitness lead to:

  • Maintaining and regaining physical fitness has many benefits when it comes to preventing falls. Increasing strength, flexibility and aerobic capacity all play a role. More specifically, benefits include:

    • Improved balance

    • Increased mobility

    • Reduced ability to react quickly to a loss of balance

    • Increased bone density

Physical fitness1
Physical Fitness lead to:

  • Doing almost any kind of physical activity will help decrease the risk of falling. The key is to do a variety of activities.

  • Encourage the older adults in your life to try something new. Or, consider some of these activities for yourself to prevent the risk of falling later on. Some suggestions include:

Physical fitness2
Physical Fitness lead to:

  • Yoga or Tai Chigreat for increasing flexibility and balance

  • Stability ball trainingespecially helpful in improving abdominal and back muscle strength and balance

  • Walking and swimminggreat for increasing muscular endurance and aerobic capacity

  • Bowling and curlingfun team sports that help increase flexibility and strength

More tips on physical fitness
More Tips on Physical Fitness lead to:

  • Older adults who are currently inactive should speak with their doctor before starting any kind of physical activity program.

  • It’s important for family and friends to support those who are trying to be more physically fit.

  • Older adults should begin any new physical activity slowly, at a comfortable pace.

  • For more information, visitwww.phac-aspc.gc.ca/pau-uap/paguide/older/index.html

Eating well
Eating Well lead to:

  • Having a pattern of healthy eating helps improve and maintain overall strength and energy levels needed for everyday living and vitality.

  • In general, healthy eating includes…

Eating well1
Eating Well lead to:

  • Lots of VarietyEating foods from the four food groups in the NEW Canada’s Food Guide: vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives, and meat and alternatives.

  • 7 to 10 Servings of Vegetables and FruitIncluding at least one dark green and one orange vegetable each day. Fresh, frozen, or canned – they’re all good.

Eating well2
Eating Well lead to:

  • Plenty of Whole GrainsAt least 50% of breads, cereals, pasta, and rice should be whole grain.

  • Foods Low in Saturated and Trans FatSelect lean meat and alternatives prepared with little or no fat, along with lower fat milk choices. Also, limit butter, hard margarine, lard, and shortening. To replace these, choose small amounts of vegetable oils such as canola, olive, and soybean.

A note about vitamin d
A Note about Vitamin D lead to:

  • In addition to following Canada’s Food Guide, both women and men over the age of 50 yearsshould take a daily vitamin D supplement of 10 micrograms (ug) or 400 International Units (IU).

  • Taking this supplement is important for bone strength and to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

Older adults and falls prevention

Reviewing medications
Reviewing Medications lead to:

  • Review on a regular basis the use of prescription and non-prescription medications with the doctor or pharmacist. This will help identify whether or not dizziness or sleepiness is occurring which could increase the risk of falling.

  • If these side effects occur, changes in medication use may then be recommended.

Vision and hearing aids
Vision and Hearing Aids lead to:

  • Glasses and hearing aids are important to safety. They assist older adults in their daily lives in many ways.

Wearing proper prescriptions for glasses or hearing aids can help a person see or hear better in order to identify potential falling hazards.

Home safety1
Home Safety lead to:

  • Making changes in the home will help reduce many potential falling hazards.This will help an older adult maintain their independence and quality of life a lot longer.

  • Most of these changes are easy to make. The following few slides offer some suggestions…

In the kitchen
In the Kitchen… lead to:

  • Store everyday items, like pots and pans or staple foods, within easy reach. These items should be kept between knee and shoulder height.

  • Keep heavy items in lower cupboards and lightweight items in higher cupboards.

  • Wipe up spills immediately to prevent slipping.

In the bathroom
In the Bathroom… lead to:

  • Use non-skid mats in the bathtub and shower, and a non-skid bathmat on the floor.

  • Install a night light in the hallway and bathroom.

  • Consider installing grab rails in the bathtub and shower.

In the living room
In the Living Room… lead to:

  • Move electrical cords and other floor clutter out of the way to prevent tripping.

  • Leave enough space around furniture to move around easily.

  • Eliminate throw rugs, even those with non-skid undersurfaces.

In the stairways
In the Stairways… lead to:

  • Have hand rails on both sides of the stairs.

  • Install lights and switches so that all stairways are well lit at the top and bottom.

  • Avoid storing things on the stairs.

  • Cover stairs with a well-secured rubber treading.

    For more information,visit


    enter “stair safety” as a search term.

Home falls prevention services in w ec
Home Falls Prevention Services lead to:in W-EC

  • Falls Assessment Program for SeniorsWindsor-Essex Geriatric Assessment ProgramWindsor Regional Hospital, Western Campus519-257-5112

  • This program includes a comprehensive health assessment, identification of risk factors for falls, and recommendations which may include: medical investigations, medication changes, footcare, exercise, mobility aids, and home safety advice.

Home falls prevention services in w ec1
Home Falls Prevention Services lead to:in W-EC

  • Falls Assessment Program for Older Adults (available Fall 2007)Council on Aging Windsor-Essex 519-971-9217

  • This program will provide trained volunteers to visit and assess a home to identify potential hazards for falling. Recommendations will be offered to the home owner on how to reduce the risk for falling in the home.

Remember… lead to:

  • Preventing falls is one of the most important ways to

  • preserve and protect

  • independence

  • well into our senior years.

Key references
Key References lead to:

  • Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2006). National trauma registry 2005 report: Major injury in Canada. Ottawa, ON: Author. 

  • Government of Ontario. Safety and security – falls prevention. (2006). Retrieved March 2, 2007, from http://www.seniorsinfo.ca/en/categories/626

  • Health Canada/Veterns Affairs Canada. (n.d.). You can prevent falls: By reducing the risks! Ottawa, ON: Author. 

  • Public Health Agency of Canada. (2005). Report on seniors’ falls in Canada. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Other resources
Other Resources lead to:

  • Latest Health Issues newsletter Think Smart – Injuries Aren’t Accidents

  • Latest brochure Drivers: Your Attention Please

  • Other electronic presentation Bicycle Safety: What You Should Know