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Manitoba

Healthy Living and Seniors

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Preventing Falls for Children and Adults


  • Overview / Introduction
  • The Fall Facts
  • Manitoba Resources
  • Canadian Resources

Overview/Introduction


Falls Prevention

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.

What is a Fall?

Falls are defined as unintentionally coming to rest on the ground, floor or other lower level with or without an injury.

The Best News - Falls are Preventable

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:

  • Providing exercise options to improve balance, muscle strength and mobility
  • Removing hazards in and around your home
  • Reviewing all medication and alcohol drug interactions with your doctor or pharmacist
  • Eating regular healthy meals
  • Taking a vitamin D supplement
  • Managing chronic health conditions
  • Determining reasons for feeling dizzy
  • Choosing supportive and safe footwear
  • Having your eyes checked regularly by your optometrist or ophthalmologist
  • Using assistive devices to help address sensory and physical impairments

The Fall Facts

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. 

  • Children ages 0 to 14 - Falls are the number one reason for hospitalization with 3,527 in-patient hospitalizations from 2000-2012. 
  • Older adults 65 years plus - Falls are the number one cause of hospitalization and death.  Almost 66 per cent or 42,377 falls required hospitalization for those 65 years of age and older. The number of those injured from a fall increases with age and doubling after 75 years of age.
  • The average length of a hospital stay due to an injury from a fall is 20 days.
  • In 2013/14, 188 individuals died due to a fall which amount to a total of 586 of potential years of life lost or 3.1 years of life lost per individual.                   
  • In 2010, almost one-third (30%) of Manitoba’s $1.2 billion spending on injury was incurred due to fall-related injuries with $265 million spent on direct health care costs. Falls was also the most expensive cause of injury with a per capita cost of $283.
  • Falls remain a significant burden to the health care system due to resulting need for services including physician visits; prolonged hospital and nursing home care, outpatient clinics, and rehabilitation services.

For professional information and tools for addressing falls, click on the link below:

Prevent Falls
arrow www.preventfalls.ca


Strategies, Research and Reports

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.

Preventing Falls and Fall-related Injuries in Manitoba: A Review of Best Practices

Safe Living Guide (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Residential Adaptation for Disabilities Program (R.A.D)

Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat – Health Aging Strategy

The Cost of Injury in Canada and Seniors Falls in Canada – Second Report

Seniors Falls in Canada - Second Report (Public Health Agency of Canada)

Helpful Manitoba Resources


Staying On Your Feet

Taking steps to prevent falls for children and adults:  www.preventfalls.ca

Active Living, Population and Public Health Branch

Seniors and Healthy Aging Branch

Active & Safe Kids Manitoba

Manitoba coalition for active and safe kids provides resources and multimedia messages:
www.activesafekidsmanitoba.ca/

A & O: Support Services for Older Adults Safety Aid Program

  • Fall prevention audits for older adults
  • Will provide fall prevention material:
    • Non-slip bath mats
    • Nightlights and flashlights
    • Ice grip tips for canes and ice melt for stairs or sidewalk

Phone: 204-956-6440     Toll free: 1-888-333-1808
Email: info@aosupportservices.ca     Website: www.ageopportunity.mb.ca

ALCOA-Manitoba – Active Living Coalition for Older Adults

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: 204-444-5120          Toll free: 1-866-202-6663         Website:   www.alcoamb.org

Alzheimer Society Manitoba – Dementia Care & Brain Health

A new checklist Reducing Risk of Falls for People With Dementia

Things to consider for improved communication:

Misericordia Health Centre - Focus on Falls   www.misericordia.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

Osteoporosis Canada, Manitoba Chapter

Physiotherapy Association of Manitoba

Provides health information to increase balance and reduce risks of falling:
www.mbphysio.org

Victoria Lifeline

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!  https://victorialifeline.ca/service-plans

Helpful Canadian Resources


Active Living, Indigenous Relations and Public Health Branch

Public Health Agency of Canada

Relevant falls prevention publications available:
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

Parachute Canada

Safe Kids Canada

Seniors Health Knowledge Network


Helpful International Resources

 

World Health Organization (WHO)