Oct 1, 2008
Media Release

Public Health Departments across the GTA Make a Splash! with launch of new health communication campaign

Campaign encourages older adults to get active and prevent falls
NEWMARKET – Public Health departments across the GTA are marking October 1st the International Day of Older Persons with the launch of the Make a Splash! health communication campaign. 
This campaign is designed to encourage adults 55 years and older to increase their activity levels in order to help prevent fall-related injuries.
The Regional Municipality of York public health branch, in partnership with other public health departments in the Regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and The City of Toronto, are encouraging older adults to incorporate activity into their daily routine.
Injuries from falls are a significant health issue for older adults:
• Every 10 minutes in Ontario, at least one older adult (65 years and older) visits an emergency department due to a fall (Ontario Injury Prevention, 2007)
• Reducing the incidence of falls in older adults in Ontario by 20 per cent would lead to over 4,000 fewer hospital stays, 1,000 fewer older adults being permanently disabled and $121 million in cost savings annually (The Economic Burden of Injury in Ontario, 2006)
• York Region has one of the fastest growing seniors’ population.  By 2031, it’s expected the number of seniors living in York Region will double to 303,517 accounting for 20 per cent of the population.  (Statistics Canada Census Report , 2006)
Daily activity is the most effective way to help prevent injuries from falls.  According to Canada's Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Active Living for Older Adults, accumulating 30 to 60 minutes of moderate activity most days can help protect and improve overall health.
Participating in physical activity also helps older adults meet new people and maintain their independence.  Walking, dancing, swimming, gardening and a regular exercise program are all examples of moderate activity.  Prior to beginning or changing any exercise program, older adults should first seek medical advice.
This campaign also promotes the safe use of medications, home safety and nutrition as additional ways to help prevent fall-related injuries.
For more information on this or any other health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653.
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 251-5553
 Email: jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

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