Every year falls cost the New Brunswick health-care system about $248 million, representing the largest single contributor to the total cost of injury in the province. A fall occurs when you unintentionally slip, trip or drop suddenly to the ground or floor with or without a resulting injury. The good news is that we can all take simple steps to help prevent slips, trips, and falls. Below you will find helpful resources for older adults, children and primary care providers.
Falls in Older Adults
Everyone is at risk for falls, but as we grow older the risk of injury due to falls increases. Falls among seniors can lead to reduced mobility and independence, as well as increased risk for admission into a nursing home.
By understanding the risks associated with everyday living, we can help prevent injury or minimize the risk of being injured. We encourage everyone to learn more about ways to stay safe to remain independent and continue to actively engage in family and community life as long as possible. To help you with this effort, we have developed a central location to access online information and resources on falls prevention. For more information, please visit www.FindingBalanceNB.ca.
Falls in Children
Every year in this province, roughly 2000 kids under the age of 15 will come to the emergency department due to a fall related injury. A fall can mean a broken bone, cuts, lacerations, or even a concussion. It’s important to talk to your child to help them recognize ways to prevent fall related injuries during activities such as having fun at the playground, jumping on a trampoline or simply walking on icy surfaces. For more information, please tune into our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts in addition to consulting the following resources.
- Trampoline Safety
- Playground Safety: Top 5 Tips (Child Safety Link)
Safe Winter Walking
The winter is an excellent opportunity to get outside and engage in different recreational activities. We encourage kids, teens and adults to get outside and stay active! However, the accumulation of ice and hard packed snow increases every New Brunswicker’s risk of slips and falls when walking outdoors. For more information about safe winter walking, please consult the following resources:
- Safe Winter Walking for children and adults
- Safe Winter Walking for older adults
The penguin is one animal that has mastered the winter walk. We recommend that you follow their lead to learn how to avoid a fall and possible injuries when walking on icy surfaces. For more information about how to “Walk Like A Penguin”, please click on the links below:
- Walk Like A Penguin Poster for children/youth
- Walk Like A Penguin Poster for adults/seniors
- Walk Like A Penguin Bookmark
- Walk Like A Penguin Stickers
For Primary Care Providers
Primary care providers can play a major role in identifying fall risk factors in older adults. The American Geriatrics Society and British Geriatrics Society recommend that all adults older than 65 years be screened annually for a history of falls and balance impairment. To support you with this important effort, we encourage you to consult the following resources.
- Fall Prevention Infographic
- Fall Risk Assessment Algorithm
- Fall Risk Assessment Brochure for Health Care Providers
- eConsult Brochure for Primary Care Providers
- Fall Risk Self-Screening Brochure for Patients
This post is also available in: French