Lacombe seniors encouraged to take part in fall prevention program

(Photo submitted)

(Photo submitted)

Lacombe seniors are being encouraged to be proactive with their ‘fall health’ and take part in the spring Fall Prevention Program.

The Fall Prevention is a partnership with Lacombe and District FCSS, Lacombe Dementia Friendly Community, Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Wolf Creek Primary Care Network (WCPCN) and is part of Fall Prevention Month.

“Even if you have not had a fall, preventing one is key. Education topics in our program all relate to how to prevent falls and maintain good health. It will provide encouragement and education on why fall prevention is important,” said Alex Seefeldt, a community recreation therapist with AHS.

Topics include proper footwear, making our home “falls smart,” proper diet and nutrition, vision, blood pressure, and how to get up from a fall.

“Falls can leave a huge impact on one’s life and it’s important we maintain our independence for as long as possible,” said Seefeldt. “Would you rather take action to maintain your independence, or risk having a fall and potentially lose it all?”

According to a statement from Finding Balance Alberta, in the province, 20 to 30 per cent of seniors will fall at least once a year.

They added that after a fall, many people are unable to live the way they want. In many cases, social distancing has resulted in isolation that has impacted older adults ability to stay active and attend or participate in programs and activities. With the increase in isolation, decrease in community programs, and less opportunity for activity, falls may become an even greater issue.

The class will be once a week over for six weeks. Each education topic is 20 minutes long, followed by a 30-minute exercise program.

“It is encouraged that participants complete the exercises outside of the program as well, or join a community-based exercise group to get the full benefit.,” said Seefeldt.

She said that interested participants are encouraged to visit findingbalancealberta.ca or contact them and complete the “Am I at risk for a fall?” questionnaire.

“This can be a real eye-opener for participants to see how much of a risk they are for falls.”

Currently, the program is being run virtually to enable surrounding rural communities and residents to participate.

Seefeldt said that participants receive free resources including a booklet on keeping well, a step-by-step exercise diagram poster, and a resistance band exercises booklet from Finding Balance Alberta. Participants are also able to do pre and post-outcome measures to see their improvements after being engaged with the program.

The program is free and will run from May 3 to June 13. Assistance with technology can be arranged. To register for the program or for more information email Alexandra.seefeldt@ahs.ca or call 403-396-0763.