Life saving message for Safe Communities Day
Marked annually on the first Wednesday of October, Safe Communities Day is a great opportunity to remind everyone that “What’s predictable is preventable”, and the increased risk of falls among older adults is both predictable and preventable. Safe Communities Central Alberta and the Central Alberta Falls Prevention Coalition are encouraging older adults to check their vision annually as part of a comprehensive fall reduction plan.
“The statistics about senior falls tell a sobering story,” says Kathleen Raines, Executive Director, Safe Communities Central Alberta. “Falls are the leading cause of serious injury in older adults with one in three Alberta seniors falling annually, accounting for 26 per cent of all injuries resulting in death and 55 per cent of all injuries resulting in hospitalization.”*
Finding Balance is the national campaign designed to raise awareness of falls and share resources about fall prevention. A healthy active lifestyle that includes at least thirty minutes of physical activity daily is the essential starting point to ensure seniors stay independent and reduce their risk of falling. Knowing that decreased vision can double the risk of falling reinforces the importance of an annual eye exam and links to the new key message of this year’s Finding Balance campaign.
Normal age-related vision loss can often be corrected or minimized, and there are simple adjustments to enhance sight that individuals can take to reduce the risk of falling, such as:
The Central Alberta Falls Prevention Coalition works to share the resources of the Finding Balance campaign and to encourage everyone, especially older adults, to have their vision checked annually. The Coalition has a number of events planned over the coming months to promote falls prevention including:
- Walk With the Mayors November 9 in Penhold
- Senior VIP Day at Parkland Mall on December 1
- Target Senior Falls, a workshop for practitioners working with seniors and community members, on January 25 at Red Deer County Centre.
*(Cost of Injury in Canada Report, Parachute Canada 2015).