Healthy Living in the North

A Focus on injury prevention

Preventing seniors' fallsHave you ever watched America’s Funniest Videos? Without fail, I find myself giggling or laughing out loud at the montage of videos showing people falling, tripping, tumbling and crashing off their bikes, over their dogs, off their decks, etc. I don’t want to be that person who laughs at other people’s misfortunes, but sitting on my sofa in the comfort of my home, it all seems so harmless and comical.

Now I ask you, have you ever had the chance to sit and listen to a parent describe the gut-wrenching screams of their child who broke a bone or sustained a head injury from a fall? Have you ever chatted with a senior when they describe the shock and pain of falling and breaking their hip, having to give up the comfort of living in their home in their neighborhood because they could not regain their previous level of independence? What do you think about all the professional athletes who have died, taken their own life, or never again played at the same level as a result of a concussion? Do you know someone who has had to change their life, either for a weekend, season or long-term because of the painful, confusing and unpredictable symptoms after suffering a concussion? Suddenly, the risk of serious injury from a fall is not at all harmless or in the least bit comical. Everyone knows someone who has had their life changed as a result of a fall.

While I’m shining a light on the serious risk of injury that accompanies a fall, let me challenge your assumptions about injuries in general. Did you know that most injuries are preventable? Injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in Canada and BC; they are the third leading cause of death in northern BC. We have higher rates of injury from motor vehicle crashes, suicides and falls than our provincial counterparts, and like the rest of the province and country, we have populations who are more vulnerable to the cost, pain, disability and tragedy of injury, such as seniors, children and youth, men and Aboriginal peoples.

Do injuries have to be a part of life? No. Can we still live full, fun, active, healthy lives while managing the serious risks of fall-related injuries?  Yes, we can! As challenges us, have a word with yourself.

Show us how for a chance to win prizes!

Do you live your life actively and fully while managing your risk for injury? Show us. Send in your pictures, stories, videos, and artwork of how to bring awareness to preventing injuries and you’ll have a chance to win weekly prizes. Visit our contest page for full details!

Join us in weekly contests this month to raise awareness about seniors’ falls prevention, childhood falls prevention, and concussion awareness. And for more information about preventing seniors’ falls, preventing childhood falls and concussion awareness and management, visit our Injury Prevention website.

Denise Foucher

About Denise Foucher

Denise is an injury prevention coordinator with Northern Health’s population health team and is passionate about working towards health and wellness for everyone in Northern B.C. When not at work, Denise can be found out at the lake, walking her dog, planning her next travel adventure, or snuggled in a cozy chair with a good book.