Unintentional falls can be ugly and they can be funny.
And they they can be dangerous, especially when you get older and lack of concentration and a waning sense of balance raise their ugly heads.
One wrong move on an sidewalk and boom: you can be off to the emergency room, especially if you never learned how to land.
And should you fall, you won’t be the only one.
The statistics are staggering.
A report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released last year found that unintentional falls resulted in nearly 1,800 emergency-room visits every day.
Unintentional falls accounted for 32 per cent of all reported ER visits in 2017.
Falls in the home accounted for about 115,000 emergency room visits.
And guess where most those falls happened?
The bathroom, of course, where more than 70 per cent of them took place getting in and out of the bathtub.
It’s unlikely anyone in Canada knows more about the whys and wherefores of falls, especially among seniors, than Stephen Robinovitch, a professor and Canada Research Chair at British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University.
He currently leads a program in “Technology for Injury Prevention in Seniors” involving long-term care facilities and directs the Injury Prevention and Mobility Laboratory at SFU,
I spoke with him by phone at his home in British Columbia about his 22 years of research and where he and his team are headed.
Here is our conversation.Listen