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Prevent your loved one from falling at home

(NC) Serious fractures, often caused by a fall, are all too common among our elderly population in Canada, and they often lead to a long stay in hospital. It is estimated that each year, one third of seniors living at home experience a fall and 52 per cent of hospital admissions are falls-related.

North York General Hospital (NYGH) and Osteoporosis Canada have developed a new way to help prevent recurrent fractures among high-risk patients. They found that patients who had a minor break were more likely to suffer from a hip fracture 10 to 15 years later.

“Now that we know minor fractures indicate a risk of more severe fractures in the future, we are able to focus on prevention and early treatment,” says Dr. Gabriel Chan, director of elder care at NYGH. He suggests remembering the following guidance as his T.I. P.s to avoid trips:

T – Tidy up: Maintaining a clutter-free home and removing tripping hazards can reduce your risk of falls. This may include electrical cords and loose rugs.

I – Invisible risk factors: If you have trouble seeing and/or hearing, you are at a higher risk for falls. Talk to your doctor about seeing a specialist such as an audiologist, optometrist or ophthalmologist.

P – Physical aides: Having the right assistive devices such as a walker, wheelchair or the right pair of shoes, could significantly reduce your risk of falls, particularly if you have trouble with walking or balance. Talk to your doctor about getting an assessment.

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Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only

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