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Falls of older adults can be prevented – Ottawa Public Health launches awareness campaign

November 8, 2013
Announcements and Events

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) has launched the Taking Care of My Health campaign to raise awareness and help prevent falls of older adults.

Every year in Ottawa, one in four seniors fall, leading to an average of more than 6,300 visits to emergency rooms and 70 deaths. An injury related to a fall can have a lasting impact on an older adult’s independence and quality of life.

To meet the needs of Ottawa’s aging adult population, OPH is now offering group education sessions on topics related to healthy aging, and offering fall prevention screening clinics. At the clinics, seniors 65 and older can meet with a public health nurse to review their risk of falling, have their balance tested and their blood pressure checked.

To help prevent falls, OPH encourages residents to:

Make your home safe:

 Ÿ  Keep your home well lit and free of trip hazards

  • Ÿ  Remove scatter rugs and loose carpets
  • Ÿ  Install grab bars in bathrooms and elsewhere as needed
  • Ÿ  Install sturdy handrails that extend to the bottom on both sides of your stairs

 Be active:

  • Ÿ  Take part in at least 150 minutes of aerobic physical activity every week
  • Ÿ  Minutes count, so be active in blocks of 10 minutes at a time
  • Ÿ  Do strength and balance activities at least twice a week
  • Ÿ  Find out more about physical activity for seniors in Ottawa

 Eat well:

  •  Ÿ Eat at least three servings of foods high in calcium every day
  • Ÿ  Take a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU if you are over 50

 Have regular health exams with your health care provider and report any falls

  • Review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist at least every six months
  • Have your vision checked every year

For more information on healthy aging programs, visit ottawa.ca. To book a group education session or to register for a fall screening clinic, call the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656). You can also connect with OPH on Facebook, Twitter (@OttawaHealth), Tumblr, Pinterest or YouTube.

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