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What is falling?
Falling is losing your balance and falling down.
Some factors can increase the risk of falling and hurting yourself.
* Most medications can have side effects; psychotropic drugs can especially affect balance. Don’t hesitate to ask a doctor or pharmacist about it.
Why is falling dangerous?
Each year, a third of seniors aged 65 and over will fall. As people age, the more serious the consequences can be.
For many seniors, falling can trigger a transition to another, sometimes less desirable stage of life. Falling can lead to loss of autonomy or mobility, fractures, having to move to a residence, or even death.
- Most falls occur at home.
- Seniors who live alone have 3 times more risk of injury when they fall than older people who live with someone.
- Among seniors who fall, 8 in 10 are women, which is 4 times more than men.
- Among seniors who hurt themselves when they fall, half are aged 75 years or older.
Falling isn’t a minor thing!
- 6400 seniors are hospitalized at least once after falling.
- 270 die as a result of falling.
- See the document Les chutes chez les aînés à Montréal, nombres estimés pour 2019 (PDF).
Winter or summer, falls have no season
People often think that falls occur more often in winter, but that’s not the case.
Falls can occur anytime.
Watch for these symptoms in the summer during heat waves:
Take the necessary precautions when walking in winter:
- Remove snow and ice from entrances, stairs and sidewalks (watch out for black ice). Don’t hesitate to hire someone to help you.
- Don’t walk if your view is blocked.
- On very icy surfaces, walk like a penguin.
- Report untreated surfaces to the City of Montréal by calling 311.
We all have a role to play
Be good neighbours and keep an eye on seniors living in your neighbourhood. Pick up objects that block sidewalks and paths (branches, garbage, recycling and composting buckets and bags). Offer to help take out the garbage, shovel, carry bags or do the shopping.
- Building owners
Make it easier for seniors to get around by adapting their living environments.
- Community workers
Provide opportunities to stay active and engaged in the community (physical and social activities, workshops, etc.).
Offer support services (accompaniment, meals on wheels, etc.).
Develop and implement health promotion and prevention campaigns (isolation, abuse, falls, etc.).
Maintains and adapts public roads and spaces to make sure seniors are safe (urban planning, maintenance of roads and intersections, etc.).
Offers physical activity programs adapted to all ages.
Ensures access to transportation that is adapted to and safe for seniors.
- Health professionals
Manage fall prevention through clinical practice (risk factor detection and related interventions, relevant evaluations, referrals to community resources, etc.).
Download this information to help you prevent falls
When to Consult
Protection and prevention
Help and Resources
Proven effective, STAND UP! is part of a continuum of services designed to prevent falls and fractures among independent seniors living at home.
People at Risk
Éditée par : Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal.
Dernière mise à jour le : 2019.10.18