Re­duc­ing the rate of falls among se­nior cit­i­zens

The Glengarry News - - Health, Beauty, Fitness, Nutrition -

The Cham­plain Lo­cal Health In­te­gra­tion Net­work has launched a new screen­ing tool to re­duce the rate of falls among se­nior cit­i­zens.

The project, sup­ported by On­tario’s Health Tech­nolo­gies Fund, will also pro­vide valu­able data to as­sist health care teams in de­vel­op­ing ef­fec­tive falls pre­ven­tion strate­gies for the fu­ture.

An es­ti­mated 85 per cent of in­jury-re­lated hospi­tal­iza­tions for se­niors are due to falls, ac­count­ing for $55 mil­lion in health-re­lated costs in the Cham­plain re­gion ev­ery year.

About 20 per cent of el­derly peo­ple ex­pe­ri­ence at least one fall each year.

The new screen­ing tool, de­vel­oped by GE Health­care, is called the Quan­ti­ta­tive Timed Up and Go (QTUG). Se­niors who are screened with the tool wear sen­sors on their shins over cloth­ing, and their move­ments are tracked and an­a­lyzed. In­di­vid­u­als are asked to get up from a chair, walk three metres, turn around, walk back to the chair and sit down. Scores are pro­duced from the data, mea­sur­ing a per­son’s frailty and risk of fall­ing.

The project tar­gets in­de­pen­dent se­niors who aren’t usu­ally screened for falls, iden­ti­fy­ing those at risk and ad­vis­ing them on strate­gies to in­crease their safety.

This is one of 15 projects that re­ceived fund­ing in the first round of On­tario’s $20-mil­lion Health Tech­nolo­gies Fund.

The fund is ad­min­is­tered by On­tario Cen­tres of Ex­cel­lence ( OCE) on be­half of the Of­fice of the Chief Health In­no­va­tion Strate­gist (OCHIS).

“The Health Tech­nolo­gies Fund is al­ready hav­ing an im­pact in the health sys­tem be­cause of the col­lab­o­ra­tions it has cre­ated be­tween health ser­vice providers, health tech­nol­ogy in­no­va­tors and pa­tients,” says Wil­liam Char­net­ski, On­tario’s Chief Health In­no­va­tion Strate­gist. “We are find­ing new ways to solve our great­est chal­lenges by har­ness­ing the power of in­no­va­tion to pro­vide bet­ter care while creating jobs in On­tario.”

The Cham­plain LHIN's IMPACTT Cen­tre, which drives in­no­va­tion in home and com­mu­nity care, is lead­ing the lo­cal falls screen­ing project, visiting health provider sites and se­niors’ so­cial and well­ness ac­tiv­i­ties to of­fer screen­ing opportunit­ies.

Ma­jor prob­lem

“Falls are a ma­jor rea­son for de­te­ri­o­rat­ing health among se­niors, lead­ing to neg­a­tive im­pacts such as hospi­tal­iza­tions and so­cial iso­la­tion. That’s why it’s im­por­tant to raise aware­ness among se­niors and their fam­i­lies about the im­por­tance of pre­vent­ing falls, and why we need in­no­va­tive strate­gies, es­pe­cially at a time when the pop­u­la­tion is ag­ing,” says Cham­plain LHIN CEO Chan­tale LeClerc. “This project fits with the LHIN’s strate­gic pri­or­ity of ex­pand­ing en­abling tech­nolo­gies. It also aligns with our vi­sion of healthy peo­ple and healthy com­mu­ni­ties sup­ported by a qual­ity, ac­ces­si­ble health sys­tem.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

OVER THE TOP: The Corn­wall Com­mu­nity Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion was un­der­stand­ably thrilled to re­port that it has reached its $1.2 mil­lion fundrais­ing goal for its new Com­mu­nity Ad­dic­tion and Men­tal Health Cen­tre, ten months ahead of sched­ule. “We are so...

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