July 2010

New report on falls among seniors released

A major new report on falls among seniors in Canada has been released and is available online. Falls & Related Injuries among Older Canadians: Fall-related Hospitalizations & Prevention Initiatives analyzes Canadian hospitalization data for fall-related injuries among people 65 years and older. The report by Vicky Scott, Lori Wagar and Sarah Elliott, prepared for the Division of Aging and Seniors, Public Health Agency of Canada, also includes results of a scan of fall prevention programs operating in Canada. Some highlights include: - In the year 2008/2009, 53,545 Canadians aged 65+ were hospitalized for a fall. This translates to an age-standardized rate of 15.5 per 1,000 seniors. - Over half (51%) of falls resulting in hospitalization (N=27,306) occurred in or around the home; falls in residential institutions accounted for 18% (N=9,462) of hospitalizations due to falls among those aged 65 and older. - The average acute length of stay for a fall-related injury was 70% longer (15.1 days) for Canada as a whole compared to the average length of stay for all other causes of hospitalization excluding falls (8.9 days) in 2008/2009.

The scan of Canadian fall prevention programs offers information on 282 programs across the country. Find the report – seventh item down – at http://www.hiphealth.ca/CEMFIA.htm, the website of the Centre of Excellence on Mobility, Fall Prevention and Injury in Aging. The Centre was established in 2009 to enhance mobility and reduce the risk of falls among older British Columbians. It represents a unique collaborative of researchers, health care providers and policy makers.

For further information, please email Sarah Elliott at sarah.elliott@gov.bc.ca

Updated July 8, 2010