Falls in Seniors - A Growing Concern

    Self-Help Program Aims To Keep Seniors On Their Feet

    RICHMOND, BC, March 18 /CNW/ - One in every three Canadians over 65 are
just a step away from falling, and that slip, trip or stumble often has
serious and costly consequences. Older Canadians are nine times more likely to
suffer an injury from a fall leading to hospitalization and even death. That
is why the B.C. Chiropractic Association is participating in Best Foot
Forward, a public education program aimed at preventing falls in seniors. The
program follows a Public Health Agency of Canada report detailing the
debilitating and even deadly consequences of seniors' falls, and the
prevention and awareness information from the BC Ministry of Health.
    "Falling among older Canadians is a serious public health concern," says
Dr. Heather McLeod DC, president, BC Chiropractic Association. "More than
90 per cent of all hip fractures in seniors are caused by a fall, and
one-fifth of those seniors will die within a year of the fracture."
    "We want to keep older Canadians on their feet and enjoying their
independence as long as possible," says Dr. McLeod. "A fall is far more likely
to mean surgery, lengthy rehabilitation and restricted activities for an older
Canadian than for a younger one. It's a domino effect that can lead to
isolation and inactivity. That's something we want to help prevent."
    "Best Foot Forward offers practical advice on many aspects of prevention
that older Canadians can do easily," says Dr. Brian Gleberzon, DC, who acted
as a consultant on the national Report on Seniors' Falls in Canada and who
helped develop the program. "Preventing a fall can be as simple as changing
your footwear, taking off your reading glasses before walking to the next room
or removing slippery scatter mats."
    A self-assessment quiz and illustrated prevention tip sheets covering
household hazards, health risks, strength and balance, and safety-conscious
behaviour can be obtained at no charge from the BC Chiropractic Association,
info@bcchiro.com or downloaded from the Canadian Chiropractic Association
website at www.ccachiro.org. Prevention presentations to groups can also be
arranged by calling the BC Chiropractic Association at 604 270 1332 or toll
free 1 866 256 1474.
    "Best Foot Forward marshals the expertise of the chiropractic profession
to bring practical prevention advice to older Canadians across the country,"
says Dr. McLeod. "Chiropractic doctors are experts in spine and related health
conditions, and each family chiropractor is in an excellent position to bring
the prevention message to their patient and community."
    "The message we want to get across is - don't let a fall get you down.
Slips, trips and stumbles are preventable," concludes Dr. Gleberzon.

    Note: All statistics are from the Public Health Agency of Canada Report
    on Seniors' Falls in Canada.

For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Dr.
Heather McLeod, President, BCCA, Office (604) 270-1202; Dr. Don Nixdorf,
Executive Director, BCCA, Cell (604) 728-7787

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British Columbia Chiropractic Association

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