Fall Prevention: Providing safer living for local seniors

With the majority of accidental deaths among seniors aged 75 and older resulting from falls, fall prevention has become an increasingly important issue in Kelowna.

Nurse Next Door, a leading provider of homecare in Kelowna, is giving back to the community it serves through its annual Fall Prevention Week by offering free home safety inspections to local seniors.

Statistics regarding senior falls are alarming.

In 2010, the direct medical cost of senior falls in North America was $30 billion. One in three people over the age of 65 fall each year and 85 per cent of injury-related hospital admissions in seniors are the result of falls.

Also notable is that 90 per cent of hip fractures are the result of falls and 20 per cent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture from a fall die within one year.

The most striking fact is that the majority of senior falls are actually preventable.

The Nurse Next Door’s Fall Prevention Program sends staff trained in fall prevention into local homes to conduct free home safety assessments for seniors with the aim to educate and help families make their homes safer for seniors.

“We are making the lives of local seniors safer by checking their homes for common fall hazards,” said Mechal Corbett, owner of Nurse Next Door in Kelowna.

“Our goal is to offer this free program to 100 seniors in our community and ensure that none of these individuals end up in the hospital this winter due to a preventable fall.”

Common causes for falls include:

• Area or scatter rugs

• Improper footwear

• Lack of grab bars or hand rails

• Poor lighting

• Pet toys, dishes and other animal related items

• Lack of rubber mats in bath tubs.

“Our home safety assessment allows us to show seniors how to make their homes safer by minimizing risks,” said Corbett.

Nurse Next Door’s local Fall Prevention Week is part of a national program that will be running in communities across Canada and the United States. The program, now in its eighth year, has already reached hundreds of seniors across the country.

For more information visit the website or call 250-450-9750.

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