Friday, October 25, 2019 | 2:00pm – 3:30pm
This session is included in your CAG2019 registration fee.
Healthcare professionals from diverse sectors play a role in fall prevention with seniors and are well positioned to implement evidence-based clinical interventions, assessing personal, environmental and behavioural factors, and identifying prevalent modifiable risk factors among their older patients and referring them to specialists, such as optometrists or ophthalmologists, and pharmacists. For example, public health professionals play an important role in translating research and best practice information on the social determinants of health and fall prevention to policy makers who can then develop healthy public policies and social policies that support daily living conditions and healthy aging for all seniors.
Canada has a significant amount of activities and expertise in the field of seniors’ fall prevention, however experts and activities are fragmented across the country without a unifying approach to improve efficiency in messaging and public health interventions. This has led to a lack of cohesion in messages to end users (public, practitioners) and missed opportunities to reduce the burden of falls on senior Canadians, their families and the health care system. Parachute, a national charity with a mission to create a safer Canada by preventing serious and fatal injuries through evidence-based solutions that advocate and educate, is the lead organization in a project to address these issues.
The current Pan-Canadian Senior’s Fall Prevention Network Project focuses on primary prevention and aims to fill these existing gaps to improve capacity among health professionals, seniors and their families in preventing falls through the creation of a Pan-Canadian Seniors’ Fall Prevention Network. The Network will build on existing strengths and assets in the system and that it will aim to fill gaps such as advocacy at the national level.
Lead by Parachute and co-hosted by the Steering Committee of the Pan-Canadian Seniors’ Fall Prevention Network, this workshop will present the current work being undertaken to close the gap, highlighting existing resources for both the public and professionals. Workshop participants, who bring their own expertise and perspectives, will engage in facilitated discussions focused on aspects of building the Canadian network so that it is inclusive of all disciplines and connected with the spectrum of issues affecting Canadian seniors. Examples of discussions include the network format, how to leverage existing networks and create a format that facilitates connections and has the ability to foster innovation through knowledge sharing and creation – i.e. new services, effective practices – within and between organizations and sectors. Collaboration is key. Coordinated and coherent efforts for fall prevention in Canada ensures that resources and skills of partners within the network can benefit everyone.
Pan-Canadian Seniors’ Fall Prevention Network Steering Committee Members
- Pamela Fuselli, Parachute
- Kathy Belton, Injury Prevention Centre (IPC), Alberta
- Helene Gagne, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF)
- Jennifer Russell, Atlantic Collaborative on Injury Prevention (ACIP)
- Candace Baetz, Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)
Who should attend?
- Health and social care providers/advocates / organizations
Falls are the number one reason for injury-related hospitalizations for older adults, and 20% – 30% of Canadian seniors experience at least one fall each year. The 2017 Chief Public Health Officer of Canada’s Report on the State of Public Health in Canada “Designing Healthy Living” states the 2016 Census showed that for the first time, there are more adults over the age of 65 years (5.9 million) than children under the age of 15 years (5.8 million). The number of Canadians over the age of 85 years is growing four times more quickly than the overall Canadian population. Fall prevention in older adults is complex as there are multiple socioeconomic, behavioural, physical, and mental health factors which affect the risk for falls and consequences of falls. The movement towards creating Age Friendly Communities, where communities are set up to help seniors live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved, intersects with the efforts to prevent seniors’ falls. For example, addressing how built environments can facilitate safety in home and community settings.