Fall prevention a focus of first health fair

By Angela Brown
November 26, 2017 - 9:00am

Battlefords residents wanting to learn more about fitness, health and fall prevention were able to gather plenty of information at Frontier Centre mall in North Battleford Saturday, during the first local community health fair.   

The Fall Prevention Community Health Fair, organized by Prairie North Health Region, also included a flu vaccination clinic and blood pressure clinic.

Darcy McIntyre, Prairie North Health Region regional falls and injury prevention coordinator, said because November is National Fall Prevention Month, the local health region decided to hold the fair with the theme 'Stand Tall This Fall.'

"It's geared towards older adults," McIntyre said. "They can get a lot of tips on fall prevention.”

A number of organizations participated in the fair including Sage Seniors’ Resources of Saskatoon, and Battlefords Hearing Centers Inc. There was also information available about nutrition, exercise, and home care services, as well as fall prevention tips and home safety ideas. 

"It's making sure in winter that you're taking care of yourself, making sure you have proper footwear and taking it slow out there. Don't rush," McIntyre said. "There are over 400 different risk factors for falling."

McIntyre said older people with chronic diseases such as diabetes also have an increased risk of falls, adding low blood-sugar could increase the risk further.

Cut Knife resident Ralph Thomas had his blood pressure taken while visiting the fair.

"I'm always interested in exercise, so I stopped in and got a little information," he said. 

As a senior, Thomas said the topic of falls prevention is important. He said he's known many people who have fallen, and finds it concerning.  

"As you get a little older you start to think about these things a little more,” he said.

Thomas said he appreciated having the health fair in the mall where it's easy to access, and said it was helpful not only for older people, but for people of all ages to attend as it covered such a range of topics.

An independent distributor for Urban Poling, Kimberly Willison, based in Saskatoon, showed visitors the popular exercise nordic poling.

Willison said when people walk normally they are only working 40 per cent of their muscles, while when they walk with poles they are working 90 per cent.

"You're using poles to improve your posture and your strength when you are walking," Willison said. "They are great if you need them for stability or balance. They are great for improving your upper body strength."  


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