Facts on falls
Falls among seniors are one of the most common injury problems in British Columbia.
One third of seniors experience at least one fall per year and half of these seniors fall recurrently.
Falls cause 95% of all hip fractures in older adults.
Falls are the most preventable cause of nursing home placement.
Falls are a problem.
- 1 in 3 seniors (those aged 65 or older) fall annually.
- Falls among seniors are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries.
- Non-fatal fall injuries are associated with increased morbidity, decreased functioning, and increased healthcare costs.
- Falls and fall related injuries account for 10-15% of emergency department presentations and 6% of hospital admissions of those aged 65 years and older.
- In Canada, over $2 billion dollars are spent in direct health care costs alone each year.
What health outcomes may result from a fall?
- 20-30% percent of people who fall suffer from fall-related injuries including lacerations, hip fractures, and head traumas.
- 95% of low-trauma hip fractures are the result of a fall. The most common types of fall-related fractures include the: spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand.
- Fall-related injuries may result in loss of independence, functional decline, loss of quality of life, and increased risk of early death.
- Falls are associated with cognitive decline.
- Individuals with mild cognitive impairment have double the risk of sustaining a fall.
- Seniors who fall may develop a fear of falling, which may limit their activities resulting in reduced mobility, loss of physical fitness, and subsequent increased risk of falling.
Are you at risk for falling?
- The risk of falling increases with age.
- Adults aged 75 years and older who fall have a 4-5 times greater likelihood of being admitted to a long-term care facility than adults aged 65-74 years.
- Approximately 95% of low-trauma hip fractures are caused by falls.
- Women fracture their hips at a rate almost twice that of men.
- Women experience other fall-related fractures (e.g. wrist, hip, spine) at approximately twice the rate that men do.
- Older adults who are taking 4 or more medications are at greater risk for falls.