Every year, thirty percent of Canadian seniors will experience a fall (that’s over 1.7 million) and fifty percent of those occur in the home (1). Unfortunately, many more will fall and not report the incident or the related injuries to their health care provider due to a number of factors including pride or stigma.
Falls account for the largest expense
It may surprise you to learn that falls cost Canadians more than any other type of injury – with the total economic burden estimated as $8.7 billion annually (2). These alarming figures, along with the fact that many falls are preventable, clearly demonstrate the need and urgency for attention in the form of a coordinated national action plan.
At HealthCraft, we’ve spent the last two decades driven by a singular purpose: designing and manufacturing innovative support and fall prevention products that help people of all ages and abilities to live safely and independently. Twenty years along, we are proud to say that we have facilitated over 500 million safe transfers in over 20 countries worldwide.
Solutions are not always simple
One of the biggest challenges we’ve encountered is the reluctance by those most at risk of installing fall prevention aids in the home, often due to feelings of pride or shame. As most falls happen in the bathroom, this led us to pioneer the creation of bathroom accessories that are not only load-bearing but also beautiful accents to the home.
We firmly believe that ubiquity of fall prevention accessories coupled with awareness are the antidotes to stigma and shame. The widespread adoption of automotive seat belts and bicycle helmets are wonderful examples of evolving safety norms and attitudes.
A team approach to fall prevention
As HealthCraft, we believe that great things can happen when a group of people collaborate on a common purpose. This includes not only medical professionals such as occupational therapists and personal caregivers but a growing number of equipment manufacturers and certified aging in place specialists (CAPS).
Every day, over two hundred Canadians will be hospitalized for a preventable fall related injury. This November, Fall Prevention Month encourages organizations to coordinate their efforts to bring much needed awareness to this widespread issue and begin to drive this number down.
A worthwhile discussion
Speak to loved ones at risk about options and simple solutions that will ensure their living space is a safe one. Consult with professionals such as OT’s and CAPS who can use their experience to create safe living environments by design.
We are committed to doing our part to drastically reduce the number of falls in the home by delivering smart, innovative solutions that help people of all ages and ability live and age in place. Together, let’s end the stigma and make life-changing safety more acceptable.