Health & Wellness

Falls Are Still No. 1 Cause of Injury

Four of five seniors hospitalized with an injury had fallen

By Wendy Haaf

Of the more than 137,500 hospitalizations for injuries in 2017–18 of Canadians aged 65 or older, 81% per cent were the result of falls, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). That’s only a slight drop from 85% per cent in 2008–09. The CIHI defines a hospitalization as at least an overnight stay in the hospital.

Falls were also the cause of 60% of visits to the Emergency Room by seniors; roughly 20% of those patients were hospitalized.

Falls are a serious health problem: in the 65+ demographic group, resultant injuries are linked with significant disability, reduced mobility, and even premature death. For example, with hip fractures—which account for about a third of injury-related hospitalizations in seniors—up to 30 per cent of patients die within two years; 30 to 50 per cent never return to pre-fall functioning, and 20 to 30 per cent require long-term care.

Staying physically active, regularly reviewing your medications with your doctor or pharmacist, and having your vision checked at least annually are just a few of the measures you can take to reduce your risk for a fall. For more tips, visit

Photo: iStock/KatarzynaBialasiewicz.