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MIRA and Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation to partner for special Fall Prevention Month event


Published: November 6, 2018 

Falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among older Canadians, with between 20 to 30 per cent of older adults reporting a fall each year according to Public Health Agency of Canada’s Seniors' Falls Report (2014). However, older adults with cognitive impairment, as reported by the Alzheimer Society, are four to five times more likely to fall than those who are not cognitively impaired.

To help bring awareness to the devastating impact falls can have on older adults with cognitive impairment, the McMaster Institute for Research on Aging (MIRA) has teamed up with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation to host a special panel discussion on the topic.

“In order to support the goals and aspirations of aging Canadians, we will need to focus our attention on mitigating the risk of falls, particularly for those who are vulnerable. We are thrilled to partner with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and to welcome panelists who will share their personal and professional experiences on this important topic,” says Laura Harrington, Managing Director of MIRA.

“The prevalence of falls among this group is huge, but research is very limited in this area,” says Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid, one of the panelists and a Professor in the School of Nursing at McMaster University. She says part of the discussion will focus on practical strategies to identify, predict and address fall risk factors. “We all have a role to play,” she adds. 

This event is free and open to members of the general public. It will be held on Thursday, November 8 at 2 p.m. at the McMaster Innovation Park (175 Longwood Road South).

Panelists include:

  • Dr. Susan Hunter is an Assistant Professor from the School of Physical Therapy at the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests are falls, frailty and functional decline in older adults, with a particular interest in falls in the cognitively impaired older adult. Her research has been supported by the Alzheimer’s Society in the United States, Physiotherapy Foundation of Canada and Canadian Institutes ​of Health Research.

  • Dr. Maureen Markle-Reid is a Professor in the School of Nursing, Canada Research Chair in person-centred interventions for older adults with multimormidity and Co-Director of the Aging, Community and Health Research Unit (ACHRU) at McMaster University. She has conducted several studies on fall prevention among community-living older adults with multiple chronic conditions and brings both her clinical experience as a community nurse and her lived experience as a family caregiver.

  • Dr. Richard Sztramko practices Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine at St. Peter’s, Hamilton General and Juravinski Hospitals. In addition to an extensive career as a clinician, he has also founded a startup that focuses on inpatient physician communication and handover called the Virtual Ward.

“More needs to be done to prevent falls, and one of the best ways to bring awareness to the link between cognitive impairment and falling is through partnered events like this one,” says Hélène Gagne, Program Director, Injury Prevention, at the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation.

For more information about this event and to register your seat, click here.


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