The B.C. government has unveiled multimedia training resources to support physicians and other health professionals to educate seniors in ways to prevent falls and stay healthy.
Falls result in serious consequences to older people and cost the B.C. health-care system approximately $155 million annually. In 2010, more than 12,000 seniors were hospitalized for a fall-related injury in B.C. and there were 940 deaths due to falls in 2009. A history of prior falls, decreased muscle strength and poor balance are most strongly associated with an increased risk of falling among seniors.
Evidence shows that many of these falls and injuries can be predicted and prevented.
The fall prevention multimedia package includes a video as well as written resources aimed at engaging both seniors and doctors. The video highlights some of the ways to reduce fall risks, common health conditions related to falls and practical assessment tools.
The resources offer exercises, recommendations for good sleep habits and ways to make a senior’s home safer to reduce falls.
The home activity handout includes seven seated and standing exercises seniors can do to help stay healthy and prevent a fall. When done routinely and progressively, the exercises are effective to increase strength and improve balance.
Seniors and physicians across B.C. will have access to the information that is being made available.
Information on fall prevention can be found at: www.SeniorsBC.ca/stayingindependent and fall prevention videos and resources can be found at www.gpscbc.ca.