FOCUS ON SENIORS: Working to prevent falls

News Jun 09, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The bad news in Brantford and the County of Brant is that the number of adults over age 65 that fall and require a trip to the emergency department is higher than most other age groups.  

“We know that the risk of falling increases as we age,” said Niyati Salker, health promoter with the Brant County Health Unit. “It is alarming, but research indicates that one-third of adults 65 and over fall at least once per year. And those who fall once are two to three times more likely to experience more falls, which can lead to devastating injury or disability.

“Certain parts of Brant –  the centre of the city and an area in the north end of Paris – are hot spots for seniors’ falls.”         

Salker said there are many potential reasons that seniors are at higher risk for falls within these two areas.

“The availability of programs and supports for seniors living there contribute.”   

But there is good news.

The falls and physical activity subcommittee of the Seniors Safety Group is a partnership between the Brant County Health Unit, the Adult Recreation Therapy Centre, the County of Brant, Osteoporosis Canada, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Alzheimer’s Society. Its purpose is to connect seniors throughout Brantford and Brant  to physical activities to prevent falls.  

Mary Green, a 67-year-old retired nurse, heard about the Seniors Safety Group and decided to take action.

“My husband and I have six grandchildren who we love to play with, and one winter I fell off a toboggan and hurt my leg,” Green said. “As I was recuperating I realized that maybe I wasn’t as sharp as I used to be.”

Green registered for a program called “Stand Up” offered at the Airport Community Hall. For 12 weeks, she participated in the twice-a-week sessions and hasn’t looked back.

“There were 25 other seniors at the class – all with different health issues,” Green said.

“Tricia was our fitness instructor and she was very understanding. She led problem-solving discussions on various matters that affect seniors, such as how to get up if you fall down. She always came up with solutions to make things possible. By the end you could see significant improvements in everyone.”

Green was impressed with the different methods seniors learned and appreciated that they were always geared to what each person could do carefully.

“We worked out with common everyday items such as a tennis ball, a bean bag, some marbles and a stretch band,” Green said.

Experts know that many of the injuries that result from falling can severely compromise the quality of life and function in older adults. However, it has been shown that older adults who are regularly physically active have better balance, are less likely to fall, have a better chance of avoiding an injury if they do fall and have an improved chance of recovering from a fall- related injury.

The Seniors Safety Group, formed 10 years ago, promotes health and wellness to the older population through increased awareness, education and collaborative initiatives.

“Members of the falls and physical activity group are distributing a ‘call me card’ to help seniors connect with organizations that can assist them to find the right physical activity program,” said Anna Bera, a health promoter at the Brant County Health Unit.

The Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC) screens seniors interested in obtaining more information and recommends an appropriate physical activity program. Contact www.artc.ca or call 519-753-1882.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) has developed a master aging plan for residents of Brantford and Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative.

Lucy Marco, president of the GRCOA, said community support and health initiatives such as the Seniors Safety Group can play a significant role in ensuring our community is a better place to live.

“The local statistics don’t lie. We need to do all we can to assist seniors.”  

In partnership with MPP Dave Levac, the Grand River Council on Aging is hosting a gathering to discuss community support and health services on Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Centre. The public is welcome to attend the event, which begins at 9 a.m. To register, visit www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Working to prevent falls

Safety group points seniors in the right direction

News Jun 09, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The bad news in Brantford and the County of Brant is that the number of adults over age 65 that fall and require a trip to the emergency department is higher than most other age groups.  

“We know that the risk of falling increases as we age,” said Niyati Salker, health promoter with the Brant County Health Unit. “It is alarming, but research indicates that one-third of adults 65 and over fall at least once per year. And those who fall once are two to three times more likely to experience more falls, which can lead to devastating injury or disability.

“Certain parts of Brant –  the centre of the city and an area in the north end of Paris – are hot spots for seniors’ falls.”         

Salker said there are many potential reasons that seniors are at higher risk for falls within these two areas.

“The availability of programs and supports for seniors living there contribute.”   

But there is good news.

The falls and physical activity subcommittee of the Seniors Safety Group is a partnership between the Brant County Health Unit, the Adult Recreation Therapy Centre, the County of Brant, Osteoporosis Canada, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Alzheimer’s Society. Its purpose is to connect seniors throughout Brantford and Brant  to physical activities to prevent falls.  

Mary Green, a 67-year-old retired nurse, heard about the Seniors Safety Group and decided to take action.

“My husband and I have six grandchildren who we love to play with, and one winter I fell off a toboggan and hurt my leg,” Green said. “As I was recuperating I realized that maybe I wasn’t as sharp as I used to be.”

Green registered for a program called “Stand Up” offered at the Airport Community Hall. For 12 weeks, she participated in the twice-a-week sessions and hasn’t looked back.

“There were 25 other seniors at the class – all with different health issues,” Green said.

“Tricia was our fitness instructor and she was very understanding. She led problem-solving discussions on various matters that affect seniors, such as how to get up if you fall down. She always came up with solutions to make things possible. By the end you could see significant improvements in everyone.”

Green was impressed with the different methods seniors learned and appreciated that they were always geared to what each person could do carefully.

“We worked out with common everyday items such as a tennis ball, a bean bag, some marbles and a stretch band,” Green said.

Experts know that many of the injuries that result from falling can severely compromise the quality of life and function in older adults. However, it has been shown that older adults who are regularly physically active have better balance, are less likely to fall, have a better chance of avoiding an injury if they do fall and have an improved chance of recovering from a fall- related injury.

The Seniors Safety Group, formed 10 years ago, promotes health and wellness to the older population through increased awareness, education and collaborative initiatives.

“Members of the falls and physical activity group are distributing a ‘call me card’ to help seniors connect with organizations that can assist them to find the right physical activity program,” said Anna Bera, a health promoter at the Brant County Health Unit.

The Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC) screens seniors interested in obtaining more information and recommends an appropriate physical activity program. Contact www.artc.ca or call 519-753-1882.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) has developed a master aging plan for residents of Brantford and Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative.

Lucy Marco, president of the GRCOA, said community support and health initiatives such as the Seniors Safety Group can play a significant role in ensuring our community is a better place to live.

“The local statistics don’t lie. We need to do all we can to assist seniors.”  

In partnership with MPP Dave Levac, the Grand River Council on Aging is hosting a gathering to discuss community support and health services on Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Centre. The public is welcome to attend the event, which begins at 9 a.m. To register, visit www.grcoa.ca.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Working to prevent falls

Safety group points seniors in the right direction

News Jun 09, 2016 by Gary Chalk Brant News

The bad news in Brantford and the County of Brant is that the number of adults over age 65 that fall and require a trip to the emergency department is higher than most other age groups.  

“We know that the risk of falling increases as we age,” said Niyati Salker, health promoter with the Brant County Health Unit. “It is alarming, but research indicates that one-third of adults 65 and over fall at least once per year. And those who fall once are two to three times more likely to experience more falls, which can lead to devastating injury or disability.

“Certain parts of Brant –  the centre of the city and an area in the north end of Paris – are hot spots for seniors’ falls.”         

Salker said there are many potential reasons that seniors are at higher risk for falls within these two areas.

“The availability of programs and supports for seniors living there contribute.”   

But there is good news.

The falls and physical activity subcommittee of the Seniors Safety Group is a partnership between the Brant County Health Unit, the Adult Recreation Therapy Centre, the County of Brant, Osteoporosis Canada, the Boys and Girls Club, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Alzheimer’s Society. Its purpose is to connect seniors throughout Brantford and Brant  to physical activities to prevent falls.  

Mary Green, a 67-year-old retired nurse, heard about the Seniors Safety Group and decided to take action.

“My husband and I have six grandchildren who we love to play with, and one winter I fell off a toboggan and hurt my leg,” Green said. “As I was recuperating I realized that maybe I wasn’t as sharp as I used to be.”

Green registered for a program called “Stand Up” offered at the Airport Community Hall. For 12 weeks, she participated in the twice-a-week sessions and hasn’t looked back.

“There were 25 other seniors at the class – all with different health issues,” Green said.

“Tricia was our fitness instructor and she was very understanding. She led problem-solving discussions on various matters that affect seniors, such as how to get up if you fall down. She always came up with solutions to make things possible. By the end you could see significant improvements in everyone.”

Green was impressed with the different methods seniors learned and appreciated that they were always geared to what each person could do carefully.

“We worked out with common everyday items such as a tennis ball, a bean bag, some marbles and a stretch band,” Green said.

Experts know that many of the injuries that result from falling can severely compromise the quality of life and function in older adults. However, it has been shown that older adults who are regularly physically active have better balance, are less likely to fall, have a better chance of avoiding an injury if they do fall and have an improved chance of recovering from a fall- related injury.

The Seniors Safety Group, formed 10 years ago, promotes health and wellness to the older population through increased awareness, education and collaborative initiatives.

“Members of the falls and physical activity group are distributing a ‘call me card’ to help seniors connect with organizations that can assist them to find the right physical activity program,” said Anna Bera, a health promoter at the Brant County Health Unit.

The Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC) screens seniors interested in obtaining more information and recommends an appropriate physical activity program. Contact www.artc.ca or call 519-753-1882.

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) has developed a master aging plan for residents of Brantford and Brant based on the World Health Organization’s age-friendly initiative.

Lucy Marco, president of the GRCOA, said community support and health initiatives such as the Seniors Safety Group can play a significant role in ensuring our community is a better place to live.

“The local statistics don’t lie. We need to do all we can to assist seniors.”  

In partnership with MPP Dave Levac, the Grand River Council on Aging is hosting a gathering to discuss community support and health services on Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Centre. The public is welcome to attend the event, which begins at 9 a.m. To register, visit www.grcoa.ca.