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Finding Balance 2022 Webinar Series

Presented by:

Snow Moles on Patrol: Age-Friendly Volunteers Root Out Winter Walking Problems

Date: 15 November, 2022
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am (MST)

Join us as we host a webinar presented by the Council on Aging of Ottawa's Pedestrian Safety and Walkability Sub-Committee on November 15, 2022 at 10:00 - 11:00 AM MT to:

  • Learn about the history and evolution of the Snow Mole campaign to report on safe winter walking conditions in Ottawa.
  • Find out how you can engage and mobilize your community to promote safe winter walking.
  • Identify and recruit community champions, including key city councillors and staff.

Winter conditions can make winter walking dangerous – particularly for older people and those using mobility aids. Older adults can become housebound and socially isolated in the winter months, fearful of falling on ice and unable to climb over high snowbanks. People using wheelchairs and walkers as well as mothers pushing strollers are challenged by narrow sloping sidewalks, snow windrows and curb cuts covered by ice.

Walkability and pedestrian safety in winter have been a priority of the Council on Aging of Ottawa (COA) since 2016. Since 2019, we exclusively focused on winter walking through the annual Snow Mole campaigns and implementing an online tool to collect the data in addition to paper-based audit tools.

This annual project offers the voice of residents, particularly older adults, and other vulnerable pedestrians, on winter walkability based on "boots on the ground" information they themselves collect. The 2022 Snow Mole Campaign and Final Report once again alerts the City and community to how age-friendly and accessible the city truly is in the winter.

Speaker Bios:

Mary Haller

Mary has been a Physiotherapist for over 35 years in a variety of areas and has extensive experience in geriatrics. She helped get the Champlain Falls Assessment & Streamlined Treatment clinic up and running as their first physio and is passionate about fall prevention, prevention of deconditioning in older adults and helping seniors maintain their independence. She has had the opportunity to do many presentations on fall prevention to community groups and is excited to be using her background experiences while working with the COA’s Pedestrian Safety and Walkability sub-committee.

Min Ku

Min grew up in Ottawa and recently returned after many years of living abroad. She has previously worked in mental health outreach for a non-profit organization in Japan and volunteered for their English language TELL Lifeline. Min believes strongly in the many physical, mental, social (and financial!) benefits of walking, and works on Pedestrian Safety and Walkability to help people from “all walks of life”. She is a caregiver to her parents and remembers the frustrations of pushing a baby stroller in winter, so she is passionate about finding solutions that benefit everyone!

Practitioners' Day 2022 Webinar

Date: 25 October, 2022
Time: 9:00 am - 11:00 am

Professor Dawn Skelton, Professor of Ageing and Health, Ageing Well Research Group, Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) will be presenting the following topics:

Session 1: Preventing falls: should we start young? Is it ever too late?
Dawn will explore the evidence behind mid-life prevention of falls and the growing body of evidence in true prevention rather than management of falls. She will also cover some of her recent research looking at prevention of frailty and the link between inactive lifestyles, social engagement, loneliness and functional decline. Controversially she will also explore whether it is ever too late to instigate falls prevention?

Movement Break:  Lesley McEwan from Physical Culture Association of Alberta, will be leading a ‘FUNctional FIT Break’ between sessions.

Session 2: Make Movement Your Mission: 2.5 years later.
Concern about lack of physical activity and loneliness amongst older people with medical conditions during quarantine and isolation in the first long lockdown of the Covid-19 pandemic, led Later Life Training to set up MMYM live on Facebook 3 times a day 7 days a week, 10-15 minute movement snacks to keep people active and engaged. 2 years later and following a published evaluation on the benefits to physical function, physical activity, social connectedness and physical literacy, Dawn will talk about how movement, simply explained and regularly practiced, still benefits a wide range of people and outcomes.

What's New With Finding Balance? Education tools to prevent falls.

Date: 20 October, 2022
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Join us on September 22, 2022 at 10 - 11:00 am to learn more about the Finding Balance program and campaign. Our goal is to provide older adults and practitioners with the latest information and resources to help reduce the risk of falling and empower older adults to live an active and independent lifestyle. During the session we will share the NEW Finding Balance Falls Prevention PowerPoint, Information Sheets and other resources to support education and increase knowledge to prevent falls.

We will also share upcoming webinars and events in support of Finding Balance November Falls Prevention Month across Alberta.

Speakers Bios:

Melanie Morgan-Redshaw

Melanie is the Education Coordinator with the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton. She works with community partners in education, health, government, and other organizations and helps coordinate injury prevention initiatives for children, youth and older adults including Finding Balance Falls Prevention Program and Brain Waves. Melanie has a Bachelor of Education and a Masters of Education from the University of Alberta.

Nan Shybunka

Nan has been working at the Injury Prevention Centre at the University of Alberta in the School of Public Health for the past 23 years. Nan has been involved in various projects and initiatives, for the past 8 years Nan has been the coordinator of the Finding Balance Falls Prevention Campaign. Nan works in collaboration with community stakeholders in identifying key issues and needs of older adults while assessing current strategies. Nan has a Bachelor's Degree in Community Rehabilitation from the University of Calgary.

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