COVID-19 and Injury: Looking out for older adults

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On average, 52% of injuries requiring hospitalization among older adults in BC happen in the home. Ensuring a safe home environment for your parent and older loved ones is important.1

The Province of BC has expanded their 2-1-1 service for seniors. An operator is available 24/7 to provide information to older adults, or for family members to seek help for an older relative.

  • Pets, dim lighting, and loose rugs are fall risks in the home for older adults (65+ years old).
  • Check on elderly family, friends, and neighbours during this time to see how they are coping and if they need anything (e.g., grocery or medication pickup).
  • Assess your risk of falling or a loved one’s risk of falling with the Staying Independent Checklist.
  • In order to cope with boredom, loneliness, or anxiety, older adults may use alcohol and other substances. As we age, our bodies process alcohol more slowly, we are more sensitive to the effects, and we are more likely to be on medication which can interact with alcohol, increasing risk of injury. Learn more with the Ministry of Health brochure.

The UBC Faculty of Medicine has some good advice on how to support seniors during this difficult time.

  1. Ganz, D.A., & Latham, N.K. (2020). Prevention of falls in community-dwelling older adults. The New England Journal of Medicine. 382. 734-43. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMcp1903252
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