Submitted by Roberta Pratticò, consultant, Communications and Public Affairs

Fraser Health’s Falls Prevention program provides education, awareness and support to older adults, no matter where they are on their healthy aging journey.

Anxiety about falling is common, especially for individuals who are over the age of 65. For many older adults, falls are the primary cause of injury-related hospitalizations.

Preventing these incidents is the main goal of Fraser Health's Falls Prevention Program. Team members collaborate with community partners across our region to educate, raise awareness among and provide support to older adults, no matter where they are on their falls prevention journey.

Lilian, a program participant, describes the program's positive impact on her day-to-day.

"My favorite exercise is 'match your toes with your eyes closed.' It has not only improved my balance but also increased my confidence, particularly in unfamiliar environments, which had become a source of anxiety for me," she says.

Lilian joined the program after experiencing two falls that impacted her quality of life. Even with the aid of walking devices, she still grappled with a lingering fear of falling.

“Fear of falling is actually a risk factor for future falls, since people who are fearful tend to limit themselves and lose the confidence to do things,” says Ronda Field, physiotherapist.

The question is: how can we improve confidence and ensure patient safety?

The answer, she says, lies in making straightforward, cost-effective lifestyle adjustments that can significantly reduce the risk of falling.

“Our program focuses on four key pillars: home safety, medication, vision and exercise,” says Ronda.

The teams also operates a mobile clinic that travels to different locations in Fraser Health, providing participants with a one-on-one meeting with a pharmacist, kinesiologist and physiotherapist.

“During [these mobile clinic] sessions, we look at various aspects of the client’s lifestyle and make recommendations about ways to decrease their risk of falling,” she says.

The Falls Prevention team also collaborates with many valued community partners to provide information and help clients learn how to decrease their risk of falling. One such partner is the Tri-Cities Seniors' Action Society.

"Falls have always been a concern for older adults," remarks Ken Kuhn, executive director, Tri-Cities Seniors’ Action Society. "The impact of Fraser Health’s Falls Prevention Program is evident, as over 200 of our society's members attended the falls prevention presentation, leading to an outpouring of positive feedback.”

While the majority of program participants are over the age of 65, Ronda emphasizes that falls prevention is not confined to any age group.

"Staying active is the key to healthy aging. It is never too late to make small changes that can improve health and quality of life. Every journey starts with a single step."

To attend a free falls prevention presentation, visit our page.


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