The Steppin’ Up with Confidence Plus program was a 16 week pilot project funded by Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living (MHSAL) to be delivered during the 2019 calendar year. MHSAL funded each provincial Health Region, to develop a community falls prevention exercise program for seniors. This program was led for delivery under Primary Health, Health Promotion, as a special project with Prairie Mountain Health (PMH). Input has been gathered from a number of programs within PMH. The requirements for this project were outlined and the project was completed by August 31, 2019 with the final evaluation submitted to Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living by December 31, 2019.
There were 3 pilot sites for this project. They included Killarney, Roblin and Parkview Seniors Co-op in Brandon. There were 8 leaders trained and over 45 participants at the 3 pilot sites.
Classes began mid-April and were completed in August. Health Promotion, in conjunction with local Senior Resource Coordinators, will look to resume classes at our pilot project sites in the fall of 2019.
The pilot project evaluated participants at the beginning and mid-term of the classes for their balance confidence, exercise involvement and fall risk, and ability to complete a sit to stand test. They were then re-evaluated at the end of the session.
This data will be analysed to document the impact that participating in the community falls prevention classes, has had on their risk for falls. The information will then be shared with MHSAL. This data may inform the development and further delivery of falls prevention exercise programs in the community setting.
One in three seniors (over 65) in the community experience a fall once per year; one out of two Canadians over the age of 80 will fall this year. “The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI)’s data shows that 4 out of 5 injury hospitalizations involving seniors were because of a fall.” In Canada, more than 137,500 seniors were hospitalized for injuries caused by a falls. This is over half of all injury-related hospitalizations for Canadians. Falls may lead to a loss of independence, decrease function and mobility, and cause other issues such as fractures and hospitalizations. There are numerous physical, social, and financial implications of falls. Falls are the greatest expense to our healthcare system. The objective of Steppin’ Up with Confidence (SUWC) Plus program is to promote participant strength and balance to reduce their risk for falls.
Steppin’ Up with Confidence Plus is a volunteer, peer-led exercise program that is delivered without cost. It reduces barriers such as cost and accessibility, and is self-sustaining with high quality programming. Classes include cardiovascular, lower body, upper body and core muscle strength, endurance, flexibility and balance exercises. Classes are available 60 minutes, twice a week and there are general home exercise programs available. Education regarding falls prevention topics such as reviewing Home Safety Checklists, Medication De-prescribing, Safety Equipment, and Foot and Eye Care.
Health Promotion is looking to expand this program in the fall of 2019. We are looking for volunteer peer leaders in Prairie Mountain Health communities, who would like to work together to bring falls prevention exercise classes to our communities. If interested please contact 1-877-509-7852.