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CCA and provincial associations launch ‘Best Foot Forward’ for seniors


April 10, 2008
By Canadian Chiropractor staff

One in three Canadians over 65 years of age are just a step away from
falling, and that slip, trip or stumble often has serious and costly
consequences.

One in three Canadians over 65 years of age are just a step away from falling, and that slip, trip or stumble often has serious and costly consequences. Elderly Canadians are nine times more likely to suffer an injury from a fall leading to hospitalization and even death. That is why the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA), and its provincial member associations, are launching Best Foot Forward, a public education program aimed at preventing falls by seniors. The program follows a report by the Public Health Agency of Canada report.  The report describes the debilitating, and even deadly, consequences of  seniors’ falls.

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“Falling among older Canadians is a serious public health concern,” says CCA President, Dr. Richard Gehrke, DC. “More than 90 per cent of all hip fractures in seniors are caused by a fall, and one-fifth of those seniors will die within a year of the fracture.”

“We want to keep older Canadians on their feet and enjoying their independence as long as possible,” says Dr. Gehrke. “A fall is far more likely to mean surgery, lengthy rehabilitation and restricted activities for an older Canadian, than for a younger one. It’s a domino effect that can lead to isolation and inactivity. That’s something we want to help prevent.”

“Best Foot Forward offers practical advice on many aspects of prevention that most older Canadians can do easily,” says Dr. Brian Gleberzon, DC, who acted as a consultant on the national Report on Seniors’ Falls in Canada and who helped develop the program. “Preventing a fall can be as simple as changing your footwear, taking off your reading glasses before walking to the next room or removing slippery scatter mats.”

A self-assessment quiz and illustrated prevention tip sheets, which examine household hazards, strength, health risks, and balance, as well as safety-conscious Behaviour, can be obtained at no charge from the CCA or downloaded from the Association website at www.ccachiro.org. Prevention presentations to groups can also be arranged by calling the Canadian Chiropractic Association at 416-585-7902 or 1-877-222-9303.

“Best Foot Forward marshals the expertise of the chiropractic profession to bring practical prevention advice to older Canadians across the country,” says Dr. Gehrke. “
Chiropractors are experts in muscle, bone and joint health, and grassroots practitioners are in an excellent position to bring the prevention message to their communities.”

“The message we want to get across is – don’t let a fall get you down. Slips,trips and stumbles are preventable,” concludes Dr. Gleberzon.