Falls Prevention Program Enhances Care for Seniors in Camrose and Area

Project Lead

Dr. Valerie Smith and Stacy Strilchuk, Camrose PCN.   In partnership and collaboration with Covenant Health, Alberta Health Services Home Care and Emergency Medical Services, St. Mary’s Hospital, Alberta Mental Health and Addictions Seniors Outreach, Health Living Centre, Daysland Health Centre, University of Alberta Augustana and community partners such as local pharmacies, optometrists, private care programs and seniors groups.

Rationale

Falls are the leading cause of injury among seniors. As people age, the risk of falling and becoming injured in those falls greatly increases. Fall risk statistics for seniors aged 65 years and older confirm this fact and are worth noting.  Fall-related injuries significantly impact quality of life for seniors and caregivers and place a significant financial burden on the health care system.

In addressing this problem, the Camrose PCN Fall Prevention Program was novel because it addressed the health needs of the community and population through strong partnerships established within the client’s identified health home/neighborhood.  This project established a comprehensive and coordinated falls prevention program in Camrose and surrounding areas, to improve quality of life while enabling seniors to remain in their homes and independent as long as possible.

Project Summary

This project provided a combined falls prevention and intervention strategy, including a fall awareness campaign, and treatment options for seniors living in the Camrose community. The falls prevention strategy involved pre-assessments, participation in an 8-week Balance & Mobility exercise class and post assessment.  Telephone follow up initiated at 3, 6 and 12 months.

Deliverables

  1. Fall Risk Management Pathway
  2. Fall Prevention Care Map
  3. An evaluation of participants, completed the fall prevention program March 2017.
  4. The implementation of an ongoing fall prevention program at the Camrose PCN.

Impact and Ultimate Success

Patients, families and caregivers in Camrose and area were able to access the program through referral by their family doctor.

This project was developed on the premise of evidence-based fall prevention practice(s). The increased awareness and education regarding fall prevention to the various participating communities and population has resulted in further education opportunities and awareness re the importance of prevention, chronic disease self-management and a multi-disciplinary team based care approach in the primary care setting.

Realizing that a fall prevention program can have such a positive impact on quality of life, overall health and savings to the healthcare system illustrates there is the obvious potential for spread and scale across the province however sustainable funding is required.