During the month set aside to prevent falls, local safety advocates are highlighting resources that can help older adults stay on their feet all year round.
November is Fall Prevention Month (www.fallpreventionmonth.ca) and Safe Communities Northumberland County is highlighting the importance of helping seniors stay on their feet. Safe Communities partners will be at local pharmacies throughout November to promote fall prevention. The group is also highlighting resources for local seniors and their care providers that can help prevent falls:
For older adults, a six-minute Falls Can Be Prevented video offers tips from local health care providers on ways to prevent a fall. Other resources include an information sheet, brochure and listing of falls prevention programs in Northumberland. These resources are available on the Safe Communities Northumberland website (http://northumberland.safecommunities.parachutecanada.org) or by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577.
Care providers who work with older adults in their home can access a free online course called Positive Steps Work. Developed by the Durham Region Health Department, Positive Steps Work is an interactive fall prevention course that helps participants understand how a fall affects seniors, the risks associated with falls and the resources available to help seniors prevent falls. To access the Positive Steps Work course, visit the Health Unit website (www.hkpr.on.ca) under the ‘Lifestyles/Positive Steps Work’ section.
Safety advocates say there is good reason to prevent falls, when they are the leading cause of preventable injury for Ontario seniors. Each year, falls in Ontario involving adults age 65 and older result in: more than 100,000 emergency department visits to hospital, in excess of 20,000 hospital admissions and over 2,000 deaths. The most common types of falls are: slips and trips, falls on stairs and falls from furniture.
“Falling can lead to depression, mobility problems and loss of independence,” says Joanne Brewster, a member of the Safe Communities Northumberland initiative and a Health Promoter with the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit. “With one in three seniors suffering a fall every year, it’s important to help prevent falls and promote healthy, active aging.”
“Even if a fall doesn’t injure a person, it can result in lack of confidence and decreased physical activity that could lead to another fall in the future,” adds Heather Grundy, who is also a Safe Communities member and a Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. “All of us are affected by falls, so it’s important for the entire community to play a role in addressing the problem.”