Simple falls a grave risk to seniors; the longer you're down the greater the harm
One in three Canadians over 65 fall every year; Philips Lifeline offers strategies to reduce risk of harm
(NC) Canadians are living longer and healthier. We feel capable and self-sufficient well past age 65 and often want to continue living in the comfort and familiarity of our own homes. But that comfort and familiarity can put older Canadians in danger if they haven't planned for the risk of a fall.
For someone who feels capable and self-sufficient, the idea that a simple fall could be debilitating or even fatal doesn't seem possible. But about one in three Canadians over 65 fall every year, half of those can't get up by themselves, and many can't reach a phone. That creates an extreme risk of debilitating or fatal injury. Later in life, simple falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for trauma, and the longer someone is down the greater the likelihood of tragic consequences.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, falls account for more than half of all injuries among Canadians over 65 years. Tragically, the likelihood of dying from a fall-related injury increases with age; among seniors, 20 per cent per cent of deaths related to
injury can be traced back to a fall.
To help seniors reduce their risk of falling, Philips Lifeline offers these tips:
• Exercise regularly to improve leg strength and balance; always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
• Review all medicines used to identify those that may cause dizziness or drowsiness, alone or in combination.
• Have your eyes checked at least once a year; update glasses.
• Reduce tripping hazards at home; add grab bars and railings; improve lighting.
• Consider installing a medical alarm to ensure you are able to get help as soon as possible.
A medical alert service such as Philips Lifeline is easy-to-use and enables users to summon help in their home at any time - even if unable to speak. There is also an AutoAlert option, which automatically places a call for help if a fall is detected.
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