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What can I do to help prevent falls?

Speaking Up About Your Concerns

The more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling. This could be due to many different risk factors who are known to be associated with falls whether they are Biological, Behavioral, Social/Economic or Environmental in nature.

This is why it is important to consult the right person as soon as possible if you have concerns about a specific risk factor or a combination of factor that may increase your own or other older adults' risk of falls. For more information, please feel free to consult the relevant section of interest below at your earliest convenience. 

Consulting Your Primary Care Provider

It is recommended that all adults 65 years and older be screened at least annually by their primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) to help identify and address their risk of falling.

 

As you know, this is done by asking you to answer a series of questions and by completing a physical examination. To help with this process, remember to bring your completed copy of the Staying Independent and Staying Confident Self-Assessment Checklists.

If you do not currently have a provider, you are encouraged to register with Patient Connect NB. Once registered online or via Tele-Care 811, you will be assigned to a provider on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about online registration, please click on the following link.

​All medications including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, minerals, herbs and other natural health products, should be reviewed at least once a year by a qualified healthcare professional. While your primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) are able to complete that task, you may choose to consult your local pharmacist since you may be eligible to have a publicly-funded, medication review as part of the NB PharmaCheck Program.

 

For more information about Checking Your Medications in addition to learning more about New Brunswick's medication review program, please click on the following link.

Consulting an Allied Healthcare Professional

In addition to seeing their primary care provider and pharmacist annually, older adults can get extra help with their effort to reduce their risk of falls by consulting allied healthcare professionals such as nutritionists, physiotherapists and optometrists.

 

A nutritionist is a healthcare professional who advises others on matters of food and nutrition and their impacts on health. This can be particularly important for older adults since they require fewer calories to maintain their weight but not fewer nutrients. Consider consulting a nutritionist to help reduce your risk of falls by assessing your nutritional status and making simple changes to your diet such as including more calcium rich foods.

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals that combine their in-depth knowledge of the body and how it works with specialized hands-on clinical skills to assess, diagnose and treat symptoms of illness, injury or disability. This is especially important for older adults at high risk of falls since they may require personalized help to improve their physical performance and function. Consider consulting a physiotherapist for the development of an exercise program that is tailored to your specific needs and capabilities.

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who usually provide primary eye care by completing examinations to diagnose and manage various vision abnormalities.This is especially important since the likelihood of developing eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration increases as we age.

 

NOTE: All older adults should visit their optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year to find out about their eye health and any changes to their vision. For a list of available optometrists near you, please click on the following link.

Getting Involved in Your Community

We all have a role to play in helping to prevent falls. Leading awareness campaigns, hosting group learning opportunities or helping to address outdoor safety hazards are just a few examples of activities that you can do to help make your community safer.

If you are interested in learning more about ways you can get involved, please click on the following link.

Resources

  • Staying Independent Checklist

    • Developed by NB Trauma​

  • Staying Confident Checklist

    • Developed by NB Trauma​

  • Patient Connect NB

    • Developed by the NB Department of Health

  • Checking Your Medications

    • Developed by NB Trauma​

  • Find an Optometrist​

    • Developed by the Canadian Association of Optometrists​

MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The information contained on this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your primary care provider or a qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition, or before beginning any exercise program.

Toll-Free Seniors Information Line 

 

The toll-free Seniors Information Line provides a traditional method of speaking with a bilingual, customer-service oriented telephone agent. For basic information about provincial programs and services for older adults, their family and caregivers please contact:

1-855-550-0552

Tele-Care 

 

If you or someone you know requires non-urgent health advice or information, call Tele-Care. A registered nurse will assess your needs and provide information, education and/or advice as required. For access to this confidential and bilingual toll-free telephone service, 24 hours a day, seven days a week please dial:

8-1-1

For medical emergencies, call  911  immediately or visit your local emergency department.

FINDING BALANCE NB © 2016 - FINDING BALANCE CANADA, IN PARTNERSHIP WITH NB TRAUMA PROGRAM | UNDER LICENSE FROM THE INJURY PREVENTION CENTER.