South East Regional Integrated Fall Prevention & Management Strategy
South East Ontario has the highest proportion of older adults in the province. Falls among this population are a significant issue and can often lead to hospitalization, long-term care, and even death 1. As this population continues to grow, a strategy with an emphasis on prevention would improve the livelihood of older adults. Numerous partners in our region have been consulted and have identified gaps and fragmentation in our current health care system. Better integration of services could improve the quality of care provided to older adults.
The goal of the Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Strategy was to reduce the incidence, impact and severity of falls and fall-related injury among older adults in South East Ontario. Five key pillars were identified as the foundation of the strategy which provided the direction of the work that was undertaken. Key objectives and deliverables were identified for each core pillar. Working groups were formed to address pillar objectives.
Overall outcome measures of the strategy included:
- Reduced number of fall-related admissions to inpatient care
- Reduced number of fall-related emergency department visits
- Reduced repeat emergency department visits for falls
- Reduced risk, number and severity of falls among vulnerable groups
- Improved reported health and well-being and quality of life by vulnerable groups
- Improved integrated fall prevention and management strategies
- Improved system navigation and integration
- Improved collective capacity for fall prevention and management
The strategy was supported by a variety of interprofessional stakeholders invested in the safety and well-being of older adults in South Eastern Ontario.
1Public Health Agency of Canada. (2014). Seniors’ falls in Canada: Second report Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved on December 12, 2015 from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/publications/public/injury-blessure/seniors_falls-chutes_aines/assets/pdf/seniors_falls-chutes_aines-eng.pdf
A number of regional stakeholders have convened to form a Regional Integrated Fall Prevention & Management Steering Committee dedicated to the advancement of this strategy. The South East Regional Integrated Fall Prevention & Management Steering Committee is comprised of the following stakeholders:
- The Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care
- Carveth Care Centre
- Community & Primary Health Care
- Gateway Community Health Centre
- Hastings Prince Edward Public Health
- Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health
- Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
- Lennox & Addington County General Hospital
- Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation
- Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital
- Queen’s School of Rehabilitation Therapy
- South East Community Care Access Centre
- The Victorian Order of Nurses
- Upper Canada Family Health Team
June 2015 Falls Prevention & Management Stakeholder Meeting
On June 19, 2015 the Centre for Studies in Aging & Health, in partnership with other key stakeholders, organized this working meeting to engage health care providers with an interest in developing a Regional Integrated Falls Prevention and Management Strategy to incorporate a full spectrum of perspectives from prevention to treatment in South East Ontario. The goals of the event were to:
- Strengthen linkages, communication and collaboration among key stakeholders across the region
- Create, identify and share opportunities for practitioner and stakeholder partnerships to support the development of a regional strategy
- Identify and present Ontario and other jurisdictions experiences of an integrated falls prevention and management strategy
Links to presentations made as well as a copy of the report based on this event and information regarding a Provincial Falls Prevention Community of Practice include:
- Best Practices in Fall Prevention and Management, Dr. Puxty
- Fall Prevention and Management Strategy: Key Concepts, Rhonda Lovell & Megan Jaquith
- Falls Prevention & Management Stakeholders Meeting Report
November 2015 Regional Integrated Falls Prevention & Management – Research & Innovation in Aging Forum Webinar
On November 17, 2015 Dr. John Puxty and Mariel Ang presented on the South East Regional Integrated Falls Prevention and Management Strategy. They reviewed the literature supporting the need for an integrated strategy, described best practices in Ontario and presented an update on the regional strategy at that point. Watch the presentation recording here.
December 2015: Exercise, Falls Prevention and Management Programs and Services – Survey Report
From July to November 2015, The Centre for Studies in Aging & Health worked collaboratively with the support of Queen’s Masters of Public Health student, Mariel Ang, conducted a survey was to identify the exercise, falls prevention and management programs available to older adults aged 55 and older across South-East Ontario. The survey was constructed to collect overall descriptive information (who, what, when, where why and how), using mixed methods (multiple choice and open-ended questions), with response options considering all aspects of falls prevention, and requesting participant feedback, comments, and questions on an integrated falls prevention strategy.
South East Ontario Fall Prevention and Management Service Directories
These directories were developed in thanks to the data collected by the 2015 environmental scan and were intended to help disseminate information about local programming to promote networking, and increased awareness about opportunities to support the reduction of falls and fall-related injuries among older persons in South East Ontario. Inclusion of a program or service in the directory should not be interpreted as an endorsement by the developers. For additional information about health services in South East Ontario, see www.southeasthealthline.ca.
- South East Ontario Falls Prevention & Management Directory
Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Stakeholder Update
On June 23, 2016, Strategy Co-Chairs Rhonda Lovell and Megan Jaquith provided a webinar update on the work that had been done to date in the development of the Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Strategy for South East Ontario. The webinar provided an opportunity for participants to share their feedback on the drafted strategy as well as information on opportunities to participate in the development and implementation of the strategy.
- South East Ontario Regional Integrated Falls Prevention & Management Strategy webinar slides June 23, 2016
South East Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Strategy – Strategy Summary
In October 2016, the Steering Committee was happy to share an update of the groups’ activities to date which included an updated summarized version of the strategy that was endorsed by the South East LHIN and reflected feedback from the webinar and survey completed in June 2016.
Launch of the Fall Prevention Microsite
This website was the result of collaborative efforts from the South East Community Care Access Centre and the South East Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Strategy. It was created as an effort to improve system navigation, increase awareness and accessibility to prevention and management programs and services in South East Ontario.
The website was designed to help older adults, their care partners and health care providers find fall prevention programs, services and resources related to: being active, managing health, foot care and footwear, eating well for life, housing, managing medications, improving balance, eyesight and hearing and hazards.
There is a health care provider side to the site to help find sector specific resources as well as research, educational and networking opportunities, upcoming events, quality improvement and other helpful resources.
Perspectives of Programs and Program Attendees
The RIFPMS Engagement & Advocacy working group obtained support from Bindia Darshan and Brianna McMillian, who completed a Community Development project as part of their Masters of Occupational Therapy Program at Queen’s University. This project involved engaging providers and participants of a variety of fall prevention and exercise programs in South East Ontario to better understand program content, barriers and facilitators to participation. The findings of their work were shared with key stakeholders in a report, a poster and webinar presentation.
South East Regional Integrated Fall Prevention and Management Strategy – Strategy Summary 2017 Update
This updated strategy summary document provided new information about working group formation, activities and more.
2017 Newsletter Campaign
The Public Awareness & Education working group shared updates with the broader stakeholder list to let them know what was happening in the region as well as news about tools and resources to support fall prevention. Links to copies of the newsletters are available below.
Sept. 2017 – Update from the Regional Integrated Fall Prevention & Management Strategy
Oct. 2017 – Are you ready for fall prevention month?
Nov. 1, 2017 – Fall Prevention Month is Here!
Nov. 10, 2017 – Fall Prevention Events this November
Nov. 30, 2017 – Ways to Promote Fall Prevention ALL Year
Staying Active, Safe & Healthy in Our Communities Calendar
Through the combined efforts of our Public Awareness & Education and Engagement & Advocacy working groups and member participation from the Ontario Age-Friendly Community Outreach Program we are pleased to share a pdf copy of this 14 month fall prevention calendar. 5000 copies of the calendar were distributed to organizations across South East Ontario targeting older adults to increase awareness of fall risk factors, programs and services available in our communities, online resources, ways to reduce fall risk and the role communities play in fall prevention.
Staying Active, Safe & Healthy in Our Communities Calendar Launch
On November 17, 2017 a calendar launch event was hosted to celebrate this accomplishment and to raise awareness of this initiative and our group’s efforts. 16 different organizations serving older adults in South East Ontario participated. A copy of the presentation given is available below.
In the late winter and early spring of 2018, stakeholders across South East Ontario were invited to provide feedback on the Staying Active, Safe & Health in Our Communities Calendars through online surveys, focus groups, hard copy surveys and interviews. Survey feedback was collected from mid-February to late April 2018.
Staying Active, Safe & Healthy in Our Communities Calendar Evaluation
In the late winter and spring of 2018, calendar distributors and users were surveyed to evaluate the efficacy of the calendar as an intervention and health promotion tool for older adults in South East Ontario. The RIFPMS working groups were supported by Megan Weldrick & Selvia Shehata, who completed a Community Development project as part of their Masters of Occupational Therapy Program at Queen’s University. The surveys aimed to assess whether older adults and calendar distributors felt the calendars were an appropriate way to share fall prevention information, if they were found to be age-friendly, increased awareness of fall risk factors and prevention strategies and whether the calendars increased awareness and/or utilization of programs and services that support fall prevention strategies. A report, poster and webinar presentation were used to disseminate the calendar evaluation findings.
2018 Newsletter Campaign
This winter we continued to share updates with our broader stakeholder list to let them know what is happening in the region as well as share news about tools and resources to support fall prevention. Links to copies of the newsletters are available below. Please feel free to share these broadly.
March 1, 2018 – Preventing Falls
March 20, 2018 – March Update
April 12, 2018 – April Updates
May 1, 2018 – May Update
August 20, 2018– August Updates
October 24, 2018 – It’s Almost Fall Prevention Month!
Reports & Publications
- Seniors’ falls in Canada: Second report
- Interventions for Preventing Falls in Older People Living in the Community
- The Cost of Injury in Canada
Articles & Best Practice Guidelines
- A Public Health Approach to Fall Prevention Among Older Persons in Canada
- Preventing Falls and Reducing Injury from Falls