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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp e314–e319 | Cite as

Better Strength, Better Balance! Partnering to deliver a fall prevention program for older adults

  • Darcie TaingEmail author
  • Kelly McKay
Innovations in Policy and Practice
  • 5 Downloads

Abstract

SETTING: Falls incur significant health and economic costs, particularly among older adults. Physical activity has been found to be the single most important fall prevention behaviour an older adult can do. This manuscript describes Ottawa Public Health’s (OPH) experience implementing the Better Strength, Better Balance! (BSBB) program, a fall prevention exercise program for older adults, through an innovative partnership with the local Recreation, Cultural & Facility Services (RCFS) Department. BSBB aims to reach 1300 community-dwelling adults (aged 65 years and older) per year through approximately 86–130 exercise programs. Designed as a universal program, BSBB addresses participation barriers such as transportation, cost and location. BSBB was enabled with funding from the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, and coincided with the implementation of an Older Adult Plan for the City of Ottawa.

INTERVENTION: BSBB is a beginner-level, fall prevention exercise and education program that takes place twice a week, over 12 weeks. Certified RCFS instructors delivered the exercise components of the program and OPH staff incorporated fall prevention messaging and conducted the evaluation.

OUTCOMES: The formative evaluation indicated that participants experienced improved strength and balance, decreased fear of falling and the intent to adopt new fall prevention behaviours following the program. The partnership between OPH and RCFS allowed both partners to leverage their unique and mutual strengths to continually improve the program.

IMPLICATIONS: Improving access to strength and balance programming is an important public health strategy to reduce falls. The recreation sector is an ideal partner to help public health in this pursuit.

Key Words

Aged exercise accidental falls evaluation studies recreation public health 

Résumé

CONTEXTE: Les chutes engendrent d’importants coûts sur le plan de l’économie et de la santé, en particulier chez les personnes âgées. Il a été démontré que l’activité physique est le comportement le plus important à adopter pour prévenir les chutes chez les personnes âgées. Le présent document décrit l’expérience de Santé publique Ottawa (SPO) dans la mise en œuvre du programme En force, en équilibre! (EFEE), un programme d’exercices de prévention des chutes destiné aux personnes âgées qui est exécuté grâce à un partenariat novateur avec la Direction générale des loisirs, de la culture et des installations (DGLCI). EFEE a pour objectif de rejoindre 1300 adultes vivant dans la collectivité (65 ans et plus) chaque année en leur offrant de 86 à 130 programmes d’exercices environ. Conçu en tant que programme universel, EFEE aborde les obstacles à la participation comme le transport, les coûts et l’emplacement. EFEE, qui a pu être offert grâce au financement du Réseau local d’intégration des services de santé de Champlain, a coïncidé avec la mise en œuvre d’un Plan relatif aux personnes âgées de la Ville d’Ottawa.

INTERVENTION: EFEE est un programme d’éducation et d’exercices de prévention des chutes de niveau débutant dont les séances ont lieu deux fois par semaine pendant 12 semaines. Des instructeurs certifiés de la DGLCI assurent l’exécution du volet exercices du programme, tandis que du personnel de SPO prépare les messages de prévention des chutes et procède à l’évaluation.

RÉSULTATS: L’évaluation formative a révélé que les participants ont amélioré leur résistance et leur équilibre, ont moins peur de tomber et ont l’intention d’adopter de nouveaux comportements de prévention après avoir suivi le programme. Le partenariat entre SPO et la DGLCI a permis aux deux partenaires de mettre leurs forces uniques et mutuelles à profit pour continuer d’améliorer le programme.

CONSÉQUENCES: Faciliter l’accès aux programmes d’amélioration de la résistance et de l’équilibre constitue une stratégie de santé publique importante pour réduire les chutes. Le secteur des loisirs est un partenaire idéal de la santé publique à cet égard.

Mots Clés

âgé exercice chutes accidentelles études d’évaluation loisirs santé publique 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ottawa Public HealthOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Program Planning and Evaluation OfficerOttawa Public HealthOttawaCanada

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