Falls can happen to anyone. Falls can happen anywhere. While anyone can fall, those who suffer serious injury most often are young children and older adults. Falls have a significant impact on families, children, seniors and the health care system.
Falls are defined as unintentionally coming to rest on the ground, floor or other lower level with or without an injury.
We know what puts people at risk for falling. We can help reduce injuries by learning about risks and taking action to prevent falling. This website offers links to information and resources to help families, older adults and professionals to prevent falls from occurring by addressing the specific risks that lead to a fall.
Children - falls happen in the home, the playground and during recreational activities. Choosing safe places for a baby where they are secure from falling from elevated heights will prevent head injuries and fractures. Assessing playground equipment and surfaces for safe play will save visits to the emergency room. And choosing to use helmets during sporting and recreational activities will prevent concussions.
Older adults – falls often happen in the home and community. There are many contributing reasons for a fall and the reasons can be compounded. Modifying risks within living environments is important and depends on the individual’s health, age and environment.
Recognizing and modifying risks of falling for older adults by:
Experiencing a fall can have a devastating physical and psychological impacts resulting in disability, chronic pain, loss of independence, reduced quality of life, and even death. In Manitoba, falls are the leading cause of injury hospitalization and deaths. Between 2000 and 2012 there were 1,949 deaths due to falls in Manitoba and 64,408 fall-related hospitalizations. Each year in Manitoba, an average of 162 fall-related deaths occur and 5,367 individuals are admitted to hospital due to a fall. When injuries are separated by age group, falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for children 0 to 14 and all adults 34 years of age and older.
For professional information and tools for addressing falls, click on the link below:
Manitoba Falls Prevention Strategy - The intent of the Manitoba Falls Prevention Strategy and Framework introduced in 2006 is to provide direction and opportunities for cooperation and collaboration regarding prevention and reduction of fall-related hospitalization and deaths in Manitoba.
Manitoba’s Five-Year Falls Prevention Plan [français] - In 2015, the renewed Provincial Injury Prevention Strategy identified fall-related injuries as a prevention priority in Manitoba. As a result, the department developed a five-year Falls Prevention Plan and Framework which builds on the successes and achievements of the Manitoba Falls Prevention Strategy established in 2006. The five-year plan will be used as a guide to facilitate partnerships and coordinate efforts among falls prevention stakeholders in the prevention and reduction of fall-related injuries in Manitoba.
Taking steps to prevent falls for children and adults: www.preventfalls.ca
Manitoba coalition for active and safe kids provides resources and multimedia messages:
Will provide fall prevention material:
- Non-slip bath mats
- Nightlights and flashlights
- Ice grip tips for canes and ice melt for stairs or sidewalks
ALCOA has a Speakers Bureau that addresses falls prevention, medication and keeping active and fit presentations. The goal of the Falls Prevention presentation is to reduce the risk of falls among older Manitobans. Helpful information includes:
- Determining the risk of taking a fall
- Taking action to lower the risk of falling
- Preventing falls for each participant who will take home their own safety plan for personal falls prevention
Phone: 204-632-3947 Toll free: 1-866-202-6663 Website: www.alcoa.org
A new checklist Reducing Risk of Falls for People With Dementia
Things to consider for improved communication:
- Protective Considerations in the External Environment
- Reducing Risk of Falls for People with Dementia: A Checklist
- Website: www.alzheimer.mb.ca
Easy Street is a unique rehabilitation program where clients can practice the skills they need for independent living after a life-impacting health change
Building Strong Bones is important to prevent falls.
Publications available in print or electronically:
Provides health information to increase balance and reduce risks of falling:
By wearing a lightweight, discreet, waterproof button, help is just a button-push away. Lifeline with AutoAlert can provide help if you have fallen and can't press your help button! http://www.vgh.mb.ca/lifeline/
Relevant falls prevention publications available:
The Ontario Falls Prevention Community of Practice (CoP) brings together multiple stakeholders including planners, researchers, policy makers, front line health care workers, seniors and caregivers who have an interest in Falls Prevention.