Preventing falls up to entire community

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Elderly Fall Prevention within the CommunityThe community-based, grassroots approach that made Mothers Against Drunk Driving successful in curbing impaired driving is needed to prevent falls among the elderly, says a kinesiologist.

Falls prevention isn’t a health-care problem, says Alan Salmoni, a professor at Western University who taught at Laurentian University for more than 25 years.

“If you don’t have the community on board … it isn’t going to work,” Salmoni said during the lunch break at an all-day forum on falls prevention held by the North East Local Health Integration Network and Laurentian University.

Falls prevention doesn’t work unless you involve everyone from those who do snow removal to the mayor, said Salmoni.

About 6,000 people in northeastern Ontario, most of them seniors, visit hospital emergency departments every year because of falls. About one in five is hospitalized as a result.

If we continue to think falls prevention is a health-care system problem, “we’re not going to get very far because it can’t possibly be solved that way,” said Salmoni, “because that’s not where the problem is.”

Full story of fall prevention at The Sudbury Star

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

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