By JONATHAN GUIGNARD
Dignitaries from around Central Alberta were in Penhold to help kick off Falls Prevention Month in Alberta.
The Central Alberta Falls Prevention Coalition hosted the second annual Walk with the Mayors at the Penhold Regional Multiplex to raise awareness for seniors on the importance of staying active, to help prevent falling.
“When I started reading and understanding more about fall prevention, I learned that one out of three seniors are at risk to fall this year,” said Penhold mayor Dennis Cooper. “When we have people falling, it limits their mobility and they are more likely to fall again. It’s important to get out and moving.”
With winter just around the corner, Monica Morrison, executive director at the Golden Circle Senior Centre in Red Deer, said creating awareness becomes that much more important.
“Winter is the peak season for falls, primarily seniors. We want to make sure people are doing something about it so they are fit to stay up,” said Morrison.
Seniors are encouraged to use walking poles, said Mandy Johnson, Alberta ambassador with Urban Poling.
“It’s like four-wheel drive. You’ve got for bases of support with two poles which is far better than walking with a cane and provides better posture. When you’re pressing down on the poles with y0ur hands, every step that you take is working your stomach, chest and arm muscles,” said Johnson.
Public Health Agency of Canada reports falls cause 85 per cent of seniors’ injury-related hospitalizations, 95 per cent of hip fractures, $2 billion a year in health-care costs and over one third of seniors are admitted to long-term care after hospitalization for a fall.