Fall Prevention Month
Falls are a serious issue for older adults. An estimated one in three older adults fall each year. In Ontario, adults over the age of 65 are more likely to suffer an injury from falling than the rest of the population. Ontario spends $1 billion per year addressing fall-related injuries in older adults, despite the fact that these falls are predictable and preventable. The Partners for Fall Prevention Month are declaring November to be a month where we pool our collective efforts to prevent falls and injuries from falls in older adults. Let’s raise the profile of fall prevention and help everyone see their part in keeping our seniors healthy and active.
It takes a community to prevent a fall. We all have a role to play!
Partners for Fall Prevention Month
The Partners for Fall Prevention Month are a group of 13 organizations with an interest in injury prevention. Together, the Partners lead the planning of the Fall Prevention Month campaign and develop the toolkit for other organizations to use. The Partners for the 2016 are:
- Fall Prevention Community of Practice
- Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
- Ontario Injury Prevention Resource Centre
- Canadian Patient Safety Institute
- Saskatoon Health Region
- Finding Balance Ontario
- Finding Balance Alberta
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Osteoporosis Canada
- Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario
- Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network
- National Institute on Ageing – Ryerson University
Impact of the 2015 Fall Prevention Month Campaign
There were 1791 unique downloads of the toolkit by the end of the November campaign. The planning guides we developed for exercise classes and the Check Your Balance activity were popular, as were the bilingual Fall Prevention month logos and the handout “Six Warning Signs of Falls”. One person who utilized the toolkit commented that it was “phenomenal and much appreciated! We know everyone is busy and these resources were inspirational”.
109 organizations reported participating in Fall Prevention Month by organizing at least one fall prevention initiative. At least 30 of these organizations partnered with another organization to run their initiative. The majority (94) of the participating organizations were located in Ontario. There were initiatives in all LHIN regions and a particularly strong showing in South West Ontario. There was participation from varied sectors including public health, non-profit, private, government, university and hospital.
157 initiatives during November 2015 had a total reach of over 6165 individuals. Thanks to a large number of training and education events for staff at health care organizations, over 600 health care workers are more aware of fall prevention best practices. The most common initiatives were handout distribution (87), presentations (70) and information booths (39). Webinars attracted the greatest number of attendees (1845).
The social media hashtag #PreventFalls2015 was used in 497 tweets and a few dozen Facebook, LinkedIn and Tumblr posts. Fall Prevention Month initiatives garnered interest from local media, too. There were 96 different news pieces related to Fall Prevention Month.
Since reporting was optional for organizations that participated in Fall Prevention Month, we expect that the reach and impact of the campaign was greater than what we were able to capture in our evaluation. We are strategizing how to encourage more thorough reporting for future years.
Planning is underway for Fall Prevention Month 2016. We will be offering an updated and improved toolkit of resources, stronger media and promotions support, plus a new webpage.
We encourage organizations interested in participating in Fall Prevention Month in November 2016 to start planning now. Mark your calendars and set aside funds for your fall prevention initiative. An updated toolkit will be available in summer 2016.
Questions or comments can be addressed to Hélène Gagné at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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