Falls are the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations for older adults, which is why the North East LHIN has partnered with the region's health units to launch the Stay on Your Feet program last April.
Between 20 and 30 per cent of seniors fall each year, and in the northeast 1,200 older adults are admitted to hospital emergency departments after suffering a fall every year.
Those falls, and the hospitalization that comes after, can lead to a host of complications, said Mary Ann Diosi, a manager with the Sudbury and District Health Unit's health promotion division.
“The longer you're immobile, that puts you at risk for developing complications related to the fall,” she said.
Stay on Your Feet was modelled after an Australian program of the same name, and offers free exercise and falls prevention classes for seniors.
To offer the programs, the North East LHIN is providing $500,000 per year to the health units over three years.
For the program's second year Diosi said the health unit will add more programming around healthy eating.
The Stay on Your Feet program recommends nine steps to help seniors stay on their feet and avoid falls. They include being active, walking tall, properly managing one's health, including medications, and eating well.
Diosi said the programming is especially important in Greater Sudbury, where the population continues to age.
Currently, the people aged 65 and older represent around 17 per cent of the city's population.