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 qch.on.ca/fallprevention.