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KEEPING YOUR INDEPENDENCE

Am I at risk for a fall?

Everyone is at risk for a fall, regardless of the age. However, studies have shown that the more risk factors a person has, the greater their chances of falling.

A fall risk factor, such as reduced muscle strength, impaired balance or visual impairment, is something that increases a person’s chance of falling.

Since the number of fall risk factors a person may have usually increase with age, falls occur more often among older adults.

This could be due to a combination of different fall risk factors which are typically grouped into four categories according to the BBSE Model: Biological, Behavioral, Social/Economic and Environmental

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Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to decrease your risk of falls and fall-related injuries. However, the first step to avoiding falls is to understand what causes them.

Did You Know?

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury among older adults

  • More than 85% of injury-related hospitalizations for older adults are the result of falls

  • Approximately 8 hospital admissions occur each day in New Brunswick due to fall-related injuries in older adults

  • More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling

  • Half of older adults who have fallen before are afraid of falling again

What is a Fall?

A fall is defined as an event that occurs when a person comes to rest inadvertently on the ground, the floor or other lower level, excluding intentional change in position to rest in furniture, wall or other objects. While this type of incident may or may not result in an unintentional injury, it is important to talk about falls or near-falls you may have had over the past year with your primary care provider to make it easier to identify and address contributory factors as soon as possible.


Keep in mind that a fall can lead to serious physical, psychological and socio-economic consequences if it is not addressed the right way through a collaborative approach with the help of healthcare professionals, caregivers and loved ones. 

Falls happen due to a risk factor or a combination of risk factors that are oftentimes modifiable. To help determine your risk of falling, you should consult your primary care provider (family physician or nurse practitioner) at least once a year.

In addition, you are encouraged to evaluate your own risk of falling before your appointment by completing the Staying Independent Checklist. This is important since this self-screening tool can also be used by your primary care provider to help with the discussion around your personal risk factors.

 

Remember to print and bring your completed copy of this brochure to your appointment. To download a copy of the Staying Independent Checklist, please click on the following image.  

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Assessing Your Fear of Falling

Studies show that a fear of falling can become a vicious cycle in which the greater the fear of falling, the higher is the risk for future falls. To help determine your personal level of concern about falling, you are encouraged to complete the Staying Confident Checklist.

As it is recommended with the Staying Independent Checklist, remember to bring your completed copy of this brochure to your primary care provider to help discuss your fear of falling in more detail and to find ways to reduce your level of concern. 

To download a copy of the Staying Confident Checklist, please click on the following image. 

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Consulting Your Primary Care Provider

It is recommended that all adults 65 years and older be screened at least once a year by their primary care provider to help identify and address their risk of falling.

 

Your provider may start by asking you to answer a series of questions to complete their initial evaluation. To help with this process, remember to bring your completed copy of the Staying Independent and Staying Confident Checklists.

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

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