November is Seniors’ Falls Prevention Month

But falls prevention is important year-round

Did you know that November is Seniors’ Falls Prevention Month?

According to Statistics Canada, falls account for about two-thirds of injuries, which limit mobility and activities for Canadians.

Nearly 14,000 Canadians die as the result of falls every year. Because a fall resulting in injury can set in motion a steady decrease in the health of a person — particularly if they’re elderly — preventing falls is a major issue in the long-term care sector.

Falls prevention is an issue OMNI Health Care homes take seriously, and many have achieved notable success.

The OMNIway reported earlier this year that Country Terrace in Komoka reduced the number of falls from 412 in 2012 to 286 in 2013, an improvement of 30 per cent.

Physiotherapy, exercise programs, toileting regimens, family education and installation of proper lighting were cited as contributing factors for this success.

Physiotherapy and exercise programs help enhance mobility. Assisting residents with regular toileting helps decrease the risk of a person trying to stand up on their own to make their way to the washroom. Making sure areas are well lit helps people see where they’re going.

Riverview Manor has also seen success in falls prevention. The latest data shows that the Peterborough long-term care home’s rate of resident falls is at 3.64 per cent, well below the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s benchmark of 13.8 per cent.

Riverview Manor also offers therapeutic hip protectors developed by Synergy Medical Supply Inc. that have been helpful in preventing injuries from falls at the home since they were introduced in 2010.

“If we know there’s a resident who is at high risk of a fall, they get hip protectors and all the safety gear that is available,” registered practical nurse and manager of resident quality Becky Dennie explains.

Preventing falls is crucial to maintaining quality of life for residents, and focusing on falls prevention is an ongoing commitment in OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

Click here for more information on Seniors’ Falls Prevention Month.

What falls prevention interventions has your home found effective? If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.