Falls among seniors (individuals 65 years and older) have become a significant health concern in Canada. Falls are experienced by more than one third of seniors and can have a devastating physical and psychological impact resulting in disability, chronic pain, loss of independence, reduced quality of life, and even death. Falls are the leading cause of injury for seniors and also contribute to a significant burden on the health care system. Direct health care costs for falls in Canada are estimated at $2 billion annually.
The negative impact of falls highlights a need to understand the burden of falls on Canadians and the health system. How are Canadian health care organizations progressing with falls prevention programs? Which populations are at greatest risk of falls? What tools are available to support organizations? In the report Preventing Falls: From Evidence to Improvement in Canadian Health Care, Accreditation Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) take a closer look at these questions and share information about falls and falls prevention in acute care, long-term care, and home care settings.