To better support fall prevention among older adults in Ontario, the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) formed the Ontario Fall Prevention Collaborative which brought together health and social service practitioners from across the province to collectively share and analyze information in response to broader questions related to fall prevention strategies for older adults. The Collaborative is guided by an overarching goal to inform and influence policy and practice through thorough examination of the Ontario landscape as it relates to fall prevention and provide tools and resources where gaps exist.
In its first phase of the initiative, the Collaborative has released two resources that survey the fall prevention landscape across Ontario to capture what fall prevention screening and assessment tools and indicators are available to support fall prevention policy and practice among older adults.
The heterogeneous and fragmented nature of fall prevention efforts makes it difficult to know which interventions and tools are working – to address this gap, the Collaborative developed an environmental scan, The Screening and Assessment Tools for Falls in Older Adults in Ontario to survey existing tools and interventions to ultimately support program planners select and implement the appropriate fall prevention screening and assessment tool. With this initiative the Collaborative ultimately strives to establish provincial screening standardization that will be applied to fall prevention interventions across sectors in Ontario.
The Collaborative also developed an environmental scan, An Environmental Scan of Older Adult Fall Prevention Indicators to create an inventory of existing indicators and data sources used across health sectors in Ontario to inform fall prevention practice and policy. The secondary and tertiary objectives of Phase 2 will address the need to develop potential indicators and data sources for both population and programmatic level reporting for fall prevention and providing methodological resources toward populating fall indicators using the data available.
Both of these resources are pivotal in advancing a system-based approach to fall prevention among older adults in Ontario. The rate of falls among older adults in Canada has increased by 9% (source). As the Ontario Health system transitions to an Ontario Health Team (OHT) approach, fall prevention interventions, policies and system-wide strategies will be a key priority to address the significant health concern leading to falls in older adults. By working with the Rapid-Improvement Support and Exchange (RISE) the Collaborative aims to be a provincial knowledge supplier of fall prevention information among older adults and a collective voice for a system-wide approach to fall prevention across sectors.