Today's guest blogger is Bonnie Fiala.
Bonnie works for the BC Ministry of Health providing expertise on seniors' fall prevention. She's been essential in the development and management of fall prevention policies and plans for the Province. She's passionate about helping reduce the incidence (and impact) of falls for BC seniors.
Thanks for blogging today Bonnie!Every first week in November, BC supports seniors’ fall prevention. This year’s theme focuses on Vitamin D and how it can help reduce the risk for falls and fractures:
DID YOU KNOW: Falls are the most frequent cause of unintentional injuries among seniors? Research shows that having enough Vitamin D can help to reduce the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
- Vitamin D keeps muscles strong which is important for balance and mobility.
- Vitamin D helps calcium absorb into bones which keeps bones strong.
- Recent studies have shown that eating foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D will help protect against muscle weakness, which in turn will help prevent falls.
- Health Canada recommends that adults over the age of 70 years take 800 IU of Vitamin D per day. This amount of Vitamin D can be obtained from eating foods that contain Vitamin D (ex. milk, fortified rice or soy beverage and fish) and taking a Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU per day. To help assess whether or not you are getting enough Vitamin D you can contact a Dietitian at HealthLinkBC through 8-1-1 or the Email a Dietitian service.
Are you or your family members at risk of falls? Take the online interactive survey to find out. Here are some other ways to prevent falls:
- Increase physical activity and muscle strength.
- Improve mobility and balance.
- Follow Health Canada’s guidelines for calcium and vitamin D.
- Have regular vision check-ups and correct vision problems.
- Review all medications with a doctor or pharmacist.
- Reduce trip and slip hazards in the home or outdoors.