Issue 1 | January 2016

Finding Balance: Falls Prevention Month, November 2015

Finding Balance Alberta was created as a program to raise awareness about seniors’ falls in Alberta and to educate seniors on the actions they can take to stay active and independent. In support of Senior’s Falls Prevention Month in November, the Finding Balance Campaign was developed 8 years ago to provide information and resources, and to offer support for ongoing efforts to reduce falls.

This year’s Finding Balance Campaign Launch took place on November 3rd. The Don Wheaton YMCA in Edmonton hosted the Finding Balance provincial media launch. More than 70 seniors attended the launch presentation and participated in a Tai Chi class or a Balance & Strength Exercise Class. Participation from YMCA members and staff made for an outstanding event! We were pleased with the media coverage provided by CTV Edmonton and Global Edmonton television. The launch was sponsored by Don Wheaton YMCA, Physiotherapy Alberta – College + Association and the Injury Prevention Centre.

This year’s Campaign focused on the ‘Keep Active’ message. For the second year in a row, the Finding Balance Campaign partnered with UWALK, to host the Seniors’ Keep Active Challenge. The Challenge was developed to engage seniors from all across Alberta to “Keep Active” throughout November. Seniors were encouraged to join the Challenge as individuals or with a group or class and to track their number of steps or minutes of physical activity from November 1 to 30, 2015.

The goal for 2015 was to exceed the 48 million steps logged in 2014. We are extremely pleased to announce that during the month of November; more than 910 seniors from across Alberta participated in the 2015 Challenge and logged 64,883,818 million steps, which greatly surpasses our original goal! In 2015, we saw an increase in participation from fitness classes, seniors groups and recreation facilities from across the province. The success of the Challenge would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of many amazing practitioners.

To celebrate and recognize the outstanding commitment and dedication of practitioners, the Finding Balance Falls Prevention Network and College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) co-hosted the second annual Practitioner’s Day Breakfast at Lister Hall at the University of Alberta on December 1st. We were thrilled to have over 80 practitioners join us for the event, and more than 315 practitioners viewing online. We would like to thank the following presenters for their contributions at the event:
  • Lisa Waselenchuk: Before the slippery slope: Adapting the falls prevention mobile clinic model for Supportive Living
  • Pam Hawranik: Practical Application of a Validated Vision Screen
  • Louise Eales: The Challenge of Fall Risk Assessment: A small rural emergency department
  • Allyson Jones and Cathy Harbidge: Evaluating FallProof™--A clinical and research partnership
  • Mollie Cole: Medications and Fall Prevention in Long Term Care

The Finding Balance Falls Prevention Awareness Campaign Advisory Committee would like to thank our 2015 Campaign supporters and everyone who worked to make the 2015 Campaign a huge success. This year the Campaign was proudly supported by the Injury Prevention Centre, Physiotherapy Alberta – College + Association, College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association, Alberta Blue Cross, UWALK & YMCA of Northern Alberta and Associated Heath Systems. We look forward to continuing to work with all of our supporters in 2016.

Together, we can take steps to prevent a fall!

Highlights of the 2015 Finding Balance Campaign

Highlights of the 2015 Finding Balance Campaign
  • 118,903 pieces of printed campaign materials were distributed across Alberta to support the campaign.
  • A total of 9,103 pieces of campaign materials were ordered by groups across Alberta.
  • Finding Balance video aired on HUTV and an estimate million Albertans viewed the video during the month of November.
  • A total of 912 seniors participated in the Seniors’ Keep Active Challenge and logged 64,883,818 million steps.
  • In total, 80 practitioners attended the Practitioner Day Breakfast and 315 practitioners viewed the event on webcast.
  • Membership for the Finding Balance Network is 491 members.
  • Pharmacy Distribution – 103,700 Finding Balance Postcards were printed and distributed to 1037 Pharmacy managers in Alberta.
  • 3 launch events hosted throughout the Province in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer.