Government announces grant for seniors’ falls prevention and mobility
In recognition of Seniors’ Fall Prevention Awareness Week, Health Minister Terry Lake announced a $4.5-million grant through the Provincial Health Services Authority to the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility for programs to help prevent falls and hip fractures in older adults and enhance mobility though early intervention.
“Preventing falls for seniors can have a huge impact on how they are able to go about their day-to-day activities and maintain their overall health,” said Lake.
“Investing in programs that deliver supports for seniors’ health at the community level means greater independence and health for older adults.”
Research shows that 50% of falls in frail populations can be reduced through strength and balance training. This funding will enable the expansion of programs throughout the province, in order to:
- Support fall prevention among the most vulnerable older adults in B.C. through outreach to family physicians and/or allied health workers.
- Develop tools for health authorities to address the risk of secondary fractures in seniors with osteoporosis.
- Increase mobility of less active seniors through education and awareness, tailored programs, and the development of tools to create safe and healthy communities.
- Assess and intervene with ‘at risk’ older adults living at home using a mobile laboratory to prevent falls and fractures from occurring.
“Most seniors want to remain in their homes,” said Michelle Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Healthy Living and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors.
“Expanding programs promoting fall prevention and enhanced mobility will help our aging population do that safely and comfortably.”
The funding will also support programs that provide effective community services for patients in rural and remote communities, including First Nations communities.
“Preventing falls and falls related injuries and increasing physical activity is at the heart of actively aging in B.C.,” said Heather McKay, director of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.
“The initiatives we’re introducing are known to be effective for reducing falls and enhancing the mobility of older adults. This funding gives us an opportunity to partner with communities across the province and better reach New Canadians, First Nations, and frail older adults.”