Now that winter is upon us, we are more careful not to slip on the icy roads. However, we may not realize that we are just as likely to fall in our own home. Statistics show that more than 30 percent of Canadians over the age of 65 fall at home each year. A fifth of those who fall require medical attention for injuries. This leads to a change in mobility and independence, resulting in the need for hospital admissions, long-term care or home care.
Older adults who have had a previous fall may develop a fear of falling again. This fear makes them more dependent on others, and even goes as far as stopping them from doing things they were able to do before. Ironically, this decrease in mobility causes physical changes in strength, range of motion, and balance – putting them at a greater risk for future falls.
In order to break this cycle, it is important to identify the risk factors early. Risk of falls is determined by personal factors and environmental factors. By taking the time to review your or your loved ones’ current health and living space, you can prevent falls at home.