Don’t let a fall get you down
In recognition of Seniors’ Fall Prevention Awareness Week (November 2-8), Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Darryl Plecas was joined by Fraser Health officials and representatives from the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility at a mobile falls risk lab, which brings state-of-the-art imaging instruments and falls risk assessment tools to the community.
“Many of us know of a parent, grandparent, neighbour or friend who has fallen and have seen the physical and emotional toll it can take on individuals and their loved ones,” said Plecas. “Providing supports for seniors to stay safe from falls and other injuries helps them stay active and independent longer.”
In 2014, the Province provided funding to CHHM to expand programs to help promote physical activity and prevent falls and fractures in older adults. Our mobile labs and clinics allows researchers to learn more about seniors’ falls and to raise awareness outside of urban areas where services may not be available.
“There are four key ways to prevent falls as a senior: get your eyes checked, make your home safer, get regular exercise—including strength and balance training—and ask your doctor to review your medications,” says Fabio Feldman, manager of the falls and injury prevention program at Fraser Health. “Following this simple advice could save you, or someone you love, the pain and suffering of a dangerous fall.”
At the mobile falls prevention clinics, seniors meet with health professionals such as nurses, pharmacists and dietitians to do a number of tests involving strength, balance, vision, blood pressure, a medication review and a diet evaluation focusing on calcium and vitamin D. Results are explained and a personalized activity program is developed, all within 90 minutes. The clinic launched within Fraser Health, however the funding provided last year will help take the mobile clinics provincewide by the end of 2016.
“This funding means we can expand our mobile falls prevention clinics throughout the province, and provide effective community services for patients in rural and remote communities, including First Nations communities,” says Dr. Joanie Sims-Gould, assistant professor, Department of Family Practice, UBC; Centre for Hip Health and Mobility scientist, expert in frail older adults.
The Centre for Hip Health and Mobility research teams investigate falls prevention, treatment options for hip fractures and osteoarthritis, and create new surgical solutions.
Learn more: Further information about preventing falls can be found by visiting www.FindingBalanceBC.ca.
As well, more resources and facts about falls are at www.FallsClinic.ca.