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October 1, 2008
Campaign encourages older adults to get active to prevent falls
  
Please see backgrounder provided below.

Toronto Public Health, along with public health units in the Regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and York, is marking October 1, the International Day of Older Persons, with the launch of an energetic communications campaign to encourage older adults to get active. The goal of “Make a Splash!” is to remind adults 55 years and older to get up and get moving in order to help prevent injury from falls.

“Many older adults are injured in falls,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Daily activity is an effective way to help prevent injuries from falls.”

Thirty to 60 minutes of activity per day is needed to protect and improve health, said Dr. McKeown. “The safest way to reach the level is by slowing increasing your activity level in 10-minute intervals.”

The facts: *
• Every 10 minutes in Ontario, at least one older adult (65 years and older) visits an emergency department due to a fall.
• Every 30 minutes in Ontario, at least one older adult is admitted to hospital due to a fall.
• In Toronto in 2006, older adults accounted for 4,086 hospital stays and 17,250 emergency department visits due to a fall.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

* Ontario Injury Prevention Statistics, 2007-2008

Media contact:
Rishma Govani, Media Relations, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974, rgovani@toronto.ca

------------------------------

Backgrounder - Falls and older adults

• Every 10 minutes in Ontario, at least one older adult (65 years and older) visits an emergency department due to a fall (Ontario Injury Prevention, 2007).

• Every 30 minutes in Ontario, at least one older adult is admitted to hospital due to a fall (Ontario Injury Prevention, 2007).

• Reducing the incidence of falls in older adults in Ontario by 20 % would lead to over 4,000 fewer hospital stays, 1,000 fewer older adults being permanently disabled and a cost saving of $121 million annually (The Economic Burden of Injury in Ontario, 2006).

• In Toronto in 2006, older adults accounted for 4,086 hospital stays and 17,250 emergency department visits due to a fall (Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre, 2008).

• In Toronto, the older adult population is expected to grow by 38% by 2031, nearly doubling (2006 Census results).

• Exercise is the most effective way to manage the risk of falls (Wilson & Rodgers, 2006).

• Risk factors for falls include: history of falls, home hazards, cognitive impairment, low body mass index, muscle weakness, use of multiple medications and inactivity (The Economic Burden of Injury in Ontario, 2006; American Geriatric Society Panel, 2001).

• Falls result in 40% of all nursing home admissions for older adults (Tinetti & Williams, 2003).

• Falls cause over 90% of all older adult hip fractures with a 20% death rate within one year (Zuckerman, 1996). Each hip fracture repair costs hospitals between $24,000- $28,000 (British Columbia, 2004).

• Falls can reduce older people’s confidence and lead to inactivity and future falls (Cumming et al, 2000).

• Injuries related to falls occur nine times more frequently among older adults compared to those under 65 years of age (Manitoba Health, 2005).

• Fall-related injury rates are higher among older females than males for both emergency department visits and hospital stays (Ontario Injury Prevention, 2007).


 

 

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