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QUALITY AND SAFETY: A Renewed Committment

On Solid Ground  
Eastern Health’s Fall Prevention and Intervention Program 
Published on Connect Magazine, Fall 2012

Who among us hasn’t taken a tumble now and then? Who hasn’t experienced that jolt of fear and helplessness that we feel when one moment we’re firmly in control of where we’re going…and the next, we’re looking skyward? 
 
Eastern Health’s Fall Prevention and Intervention Program
 
Falling’s no fun. But for most relatively healthy people, it’s often a temporary embarrassment orinconvenience; a quick brushing off and maybe a bruise or two, followed by a resolve to be more careful.

In a long-term care setting though, it’s often a different story. Falls are one of the biggest risk factors for residents, who are vulnerable to falling for a number of reasons:
  • Fall injuries happen nine times more often in those over 65 years of age.
  • One in three seniors will fall every year.
  • Most long-term care residents have one or more medical conditions associated with an increased risk of falling, including arthritis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke or foot problems.
  • Drugs used to treat medical conditions are often associated with an increased risk of falling;examples include sedatives, anti-depressants, cardiac medications or any drug that affects balance.

In short, falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors. They can range from minor (small bruise or abrasion) to moderate (a few stitches) to major (head injuries or fractures). In some instances, a fall can actually result in death. This is all the more disturbing when considering that falls are also the most preventable of all risks.

 

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Updated Sep 25, 2012