Tools for Living Well Toolkit - Canadian Association of Occupational ...

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Tools for Living Well Toolkit - Canadian Association of Occupational ...

Toolkit

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls


Preface

Preventing falls is a community-wide problem. Assistive devices are

tools to help people stay independent and safe while taking part

in the activities of everyday living. Some assistive devices such as

canes and bathtub grab bars may prevent falls or reduce the risk of

injuries in the event of a fall. While convention would suggest that

the promotion of assistive devices is up to the health professional,

businesses too can be involved in increasing access to, and

awareness of, assistive devices.

Tools for Living Well is designed to help communities:

● increase awareness of, and access to, assistive devices;

● encourage local businesses to promote assistive devices;

● educate seniors and their caregivers to make informed

choices about assistive devices and to use them correctly;

and

● support a shift in social norms from assistive devices as

tools for persons with disabilities to assistive devices as

tools for independent living.

Tools for Living Well is intended for use by individuals or organizations

interested in tackling the problem of falls among older adults in the

community. Information and strategies included might be of interest to:

local coalitions, seniors’ groups, business associations, legions, home

care programs, and others.

Tools for Living Well promotes bathtub safety devices, canes and hip

protectors. It will help you help the businesses in your community to

contribute to fall prevention and support independent aging.

Tools for Living Well focuses on three business domains - retailers,

homebuilders, and hoteliers. However, the strategies and approaches

presented here could also be used with other businesses.

The program provides a variety of materials or “tools” to help

promote these assistive devices, including:

● statistics on falls and information on the preventative

benefits of assistive devices;

● information to help build awareness of assistive devices in

your community;

Word short cuts:

To avoid long, explanatory

phrases throughout the

Toolkit we have used the

term “seniors” to refer to

older adults, including

veterans.

Although we have focused

on seniors as a target

group in this program, it is

important to know that the

assistive devices listed here

are beneficial for all ages.

Assistive devices are

tools to help people stay

independent and safe while

taking part in the activities

of everyday living.

Tools for Living Well

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IV

Preface

Tools for Living Well

● point of purchase information to assist the purchaser and

consumer;

● suggestions for working with businesses to promote

assistive devices; and

● tips on how to evaluate your program.

Chapter 1 – Introduction describes the goals, objectives,

framework and rationale for the program.

Chapter 2 – Preventing Falls provides information on the incidence

of falls among Canadian Seniors, the causes and costs of falls, risk

factors and strategies to prevent falls.

Chapter 3 – Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention provides

information on each of the assistive devices that are targeted in this

program.

Chapter 4 – Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

describes ways in which you can -- engage people in your

community in supporting your efforts.

Chapter 5 – Selecting and Planning Your Approach to

Businesses offers strategies to help you identify which businesses

to approach and how to approach them.

Chapter 6 – Approaching and Working with Businesses will help

you approach and support businesses in their promotion of assistive

devices.

Chapter 7 – Evaluating Your Program offers suggestions on how

you can determine if your efforts have been effective.

Program Tools and Evaluation Tools included in the Toolkit may

be photocopied or adapted to your audience.

Brochures have been developed for use with seniors, caregivers,

businesses, and other community members.

Appendix 1 illustrates the way the Toolkit was used in pilot program

sites in 4 cities across Canada, and highlights some of the lessons

learned from those experiences.


Acknowledgements

Tools for Living Well was co-written and produced by the Community

Health Research Unit (CHRU) at the University of Ottawa and the

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

Funding for the development of this Toolkit was provided by the

Health Canada/Veterans Affairs Canada Fall Prevention Initiative.

The Toolkit was produced and developed by the University of

Ottawa and CAOT. Contributions to the development of the Toolkit

were made by:

Donna Lockett

Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa

Nancy Edwards

Community Health Research Unit, University of Ottawa

Mary Lou Boudreau

National Project Coordinator, Tools for Living Well

Darene Toal Sullivan

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Heidi Sveistrup

University of Ottawa

Claudia von Zweck

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Christy-Ann Drouin

Project Coordinator of Operations,

University of Ottawa

Judith Wilson provided consultation on approaching businesses.

Graphics were done by Meghan Thomas.

Appreciation is extended to our National Program Advisory Team,

who gave us their benefit of their expertise:

Ginette Asselin

City of Ottawa Seniors’ Health and Caregiver Support

Doris Pringle

Senior,

City of Ottawa Falls Prevention Coalition

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VI

Acknowledgements

Tools for Living Well

Helen Allard

Royal Canadian Legion, Ottawa

Bill Turney

Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA)

Dr. Jan Polgar

University of Western Ontario,

School of Occupational Therapy

Brent Cliff

New Brunswick Homebuilders Association

Tom Parker

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Brian Stowe

Canadian Pharmacists’ Association

Mary Frances Laughton

Industry Canada,

Assistive Devices Industry Office

Deborah Finn

Industry Canada,

Assistive Devices Industry Office

Jane Stewart-Grey

Canadian Physiotherapy Association

Mario Giannetti

Preston Hardware, Ottawa, Ontario

Scott Puddicombe

Puddicombe Access Solutions, Inc.,

Ottawa, Ontario

A big thanks to our five Site Coordinators who piloted the programs in

their own communities:

● Marie Brine in Prince Edward Island;

● Ginette Asselin in Gatineau, Quebec;

● Carie Lee Watters and Margaret Usherwood in Calgary,

Alberta;

● Heather Gillespie in Nanaimo, British Columbia.

Thanks also to their enthusiastic Program Volunteers and Community

Advisory Teams who were so important in implementing the pilot

projects and for teaching us from their experience.


Terms of use

The Tools for Living Well Toolkit was created by the Community

Health Research Unit (CHRU), University of Ottawa and the

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT) with

funding from the Health Canada/Veterans Affairs Canada Falls

Prevention Initiative. The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of the CHRU, University of Ottawa,

CAOT, or its funders or partners.

Not medical advice: The information provided in the Toolkit is intended

for educational purposes only. It is not and should not be taken as

advice or treatment from a doctor or health care professional. Never

disregard professional medical or health care advice or delay in seeking

it because of something you have read in this Toolkit.

Copyright and permission to use: All materials in Tools for Living

Well are protected by Canadian copyright law. The Content of

Tools

for Living Well may be used without specific permission for non-

commercial or educational purposes. No part of this information may

be reproduced for any other purpose without the written permission

of the CAOT (CAOT, CTTC Building, Suite 3400, 1125 Colonel By

Dr., Ottawa Ontario, K1S 5R1, www.caot.ca) or CHRU (CHRU,

University of Ottawa, 451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, Ontario, K1H 8M5).

Limitation of Liability: In no event shall the Community Health

Research Unit, University of Ottawa, the CAOT, Health Canada

or Veterans Affairs Canada, its directors, employees, agents, or

licensors be liable for damages of any kind arising from the use of

information in Tools for Living Well.

Disclaimer of warranties: The Toolkit and the content are provided

“as is”. While we endeavour to provide content that is correct, accurate

and timely, no representations or warranties are made regarding

the Tools for Living Well Toolkit. By using the Toolkit, the users

acknowledge and agree they are using it at their own risk and liability.

Referencing this Toolkit: Please use the following reference:

Lockett, D., Edwards, N., Boudreau, ML, Toal-Sullivan, D.,

Sveistrup, H., and von Zweck, C. (2004). Tools for Living Well:

Assistive Devices to Prevent Falls among Seniors and Veterans.

University of Ottawa and Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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VIII

Table of Contents

Chapter ONE - Introduction ................................................................................ 1

1. Why retailers? ...................................................................................................................... 1

2. Why hoteliers and homebuilders? .......................................................................................2

3. Building on precedence ........................................................................................................ 2

4. Looking forward ....................................................................................................................3

5. Working together to prevent falls ..........................................................................................3

Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls ........................................................................ 5

1. Prevalence of falls among seniors and veterans ................................................................. 5

2. Personal cost of falls ........................................................................................................... 5

3. Cost of falls to our health care system .................................................................................6

4. Risk factors for falls ..............................................................................................................6

5. Reducing the risk of falls for seniors ....................................................................................9

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention ............................ 11

1. Canes .................................................................................................................................. 11

2. Hip protectors .....................................................................................................................15

3. Grab bars ............................................................................................................................17

4. Bathtub and shower seats ..................................................................................................20

5. Non-slip bathtub and shower mats .....................................................................................21

Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community ................... 23

1. Getting to know your community ........................................................................................23

2. Using volunteers for this program .......................................................................................23

3. Community meetings and presentations ............................................................................28

4. Collect local stories ............................................................................................................. 29

5. Media Advocacy ..................................................................................................................30

Chapter FIVE - Selecting and Planning your Approach to Businesses ..... 31

1. Selecting businesses to target ............................................................................................31

2. Planning your approach .....................................................................................................32

Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses ......................... 33

1. Approaching businesses .....................................................................................................33

2. General approach to supporting businesses ......................................................................36

3. Supporting businesses in change .......................................................................................37

Tools for Living Well


Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program ...................................................... 41

1. Introduction to evaluation ................................................................................................... 41

2. What should you consider evaluating? ...............................................................................41

3. Interviews with participating business representatives ....................................................... 43

4. Businesses’ environmental scans .......................................................................................43

5. Interpreting results and sharing your findings ...................................................................44

References ......................................................................................................... 47

Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Program with

Lessons Learned ............................................................................................... 49

Purpose and scope of this overview .......................................................................................49

The Pilot Sites .........................................................................................................................50

The Site Coordinators .............................................................................................................50

A) Overview of variability of program implementation in each site .............................................51

B) Recommendations based on lessons Learned .................................................................57

Summary .................................................................................................................................60

Appendix TWO - Other Resources That You Might Find Useful .................. 61

Health Canada and Veterans Affairs .....................................................................................61

Canada Mortgage and Housing .............................................................................................61

Evaluation Tools ................................................................................................. 63

Evaluation Tool 1: Retailer Initial Interview .............................................................................65

Evaluation Tool 2: Retail Store Environmental Scan .............................................................69

Evaluation Tool 3: Retailer Follow-Up Interview .....................................................................71

Evaluation Tool 4: Hotelier Initial Interview .............................................................................75

Evaluation Tool 5: Hotel/Motel Environmental Scan ...............................................................79

Evaluation Tool 6: Hotelier Follow-up Interview .....................................................................81

Evaluation Tool 7: Homebuilder Initial Interview .....................................................................83

Evaluation Tool 8: Model Home Environmental Scan ............................................................ 87

Evaluation Tool 9: Homebuilder Follow-up Interview ..............................................................89

Program Tools .................................................................................................... 93

Program Tool 1: Community presentation ..............................................................................95

Program Tool 2: Community profile ........................................................................................99

Program Tool 3: Priority setting exercise ..............................................................................109

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Table of Contents

Program Tool 4: Strategic planning exercise ........................................................................ 115

Program Tool 5: Sample introductory letter to businesses ................................................... 117

Program Tool 6: Sample script for follow-up call to businesses .......................................... 119

Program Tool 7: Sample thank you letter for businesses ..................................................... 121

Program Tool 8: What you should know before you approach homebuilders ...................... 123

Program Tool 9: What you should know before you approach hoteliers .............................. 125

Program Tool 10: What you should know before you approach retailers ............................. 127

Program Tool 11: Staged interventions for working with businesses ................................... 129

Program Tool 12: Program Summary ....................................................................................133

Brochures ........................................................................................................ 135

Brochure 1: Seniors are Good for Business! ........................................................................137

Brochure 2: Use a cane! .......................................................................................................139

Brochure 3: Wear hip protectors! .........................................................................................141

Brochure 4: Use grab bars! ..................................................................................................143

Brochure 5: Use a bath seat! ...............................................................................................145

Brochure 6: Use non-slip mats in your bathroom! ...............................................................147

Brochure 7: Invest in your Independence! ............................................................................149

Brochure 8: Avoid falls while travelling! ................................................................................151

Brochure 9: Have a safe home and lifestyle! .......................................................................153

Brochure 10: Protect yourself from falls! ..............................................................................155

Brochure 11: Hip Protector Supplier List ..............................................................................157

Tools for Living Well


Chapter ONE

Introduction

Falls are a significant problem for older adults. Many factors

contribute to falls. This program aims to support independent living

and reduce the rate of fall injury by promoting the appropriate use of

selected assistive devices.

Tools for Living Well is designed to help communities:

● increase awareness of, and access to, assistive devices;

● encourage local businesses to promote assistive devices;

● educate seniors and their caregivers to make informed choices

about assistive devices and to use them correctly; and

● support a shift in social norms from assistive devices as

tools for persons with disabilities to assistive devices as

tools for independent living.

1. Why retailers?

Accessing assistive devices can be a problem. Research has

shown that seniors are discouraged from purchasing assistive

devices because they don’t know where to buy them and don’t

know how to select an appropriate device. 1 Seniors may also

decide not to use assistive devices because they believe only

frail or disabled people need them. 1 This program is designed

to promote assistive devices in mainstream stores as a way of

“normalizing” their use and increasing their availability. It also

provides information required by retailers and customers for the

proper fitting and use of devices.

a) Retailers can help by:

● making assistive devices available in local neighbourhood

stores and display them as they would appear in the home;

● ensuring that store staff have information available on the

choice, installation and proper use of the assistive devices

they sell;

● providing point of purchase information for potential

consumers.

Tools for Living Well

concentrates on canes,

hip protectors and bathtub

devices (bathtub or shower

grab bars, bathtub or shower

benches, and non-slip mats).

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2

Chapter ONE - Introduction

Tools for Living Well

2. Why hoteliers and homebuilders?

Research has demonstrated that seniors who have access to bath

safety devices such as grab bars in their homes, for the most part,

use them. 1, 2 If seniors have a chance to see and use a bath

safety device while in a hotel, they may think about purchasing one

for their home. If homebuilders offer the installation of grab bars as

part of the purchase price of a home, buyers may be more likely to

include these devices as standard home equipment.

a) Hoteliers can help by:

● installing bathtub and shower grab bars and non-slip surfaces

on tubs, showers and bathroom floors in all guest rooms;

● promoting the fact that these devices are available in all

guest rooms; and

● promoting the availability of bathtub seats in hotel

advertising and guest service brochures.

b) Homebuilders can help by:

● installing and displaying assistive devices in model homes;

● promoting assistive devices as a standard upgrade feature

for new buyers; and

● providing reinforcement in bath areas for retrofitting of

bathtub grab bars.

3. Building on precedence

Stereotyped views of assistive devices need to be replaced with

more open views. This program aims to begin the process of

reshaping social norms and shifting stereotypes, which surround the

use of assistive devices.

There are many examples of protective devices and assistive

devices that have successfully been integrated, even legislated, into

everyday life. For example:

● Walking sticks in Europe are associated with hiking and

other vigorous outdoor activities. They are also displayed

and sold in mountaineering and hiking stores, and sports

equipment stores.

● Cooking utensils with large grip handles are now displayed

along with “regular” kitchenware. They are easy to spot and “in

your face” when you shop. There are even “designer” versions


for which some consumers are willing to pay more money.

● Bicycle helmets are usually prominently displayed in stores

alongside bicycles. This promotion, together with educational

campaigns and legislation, has significantly increased

the use of bicycle helmets by children and reduced head

injuries. Although helmets are not legislated for use by

adults the norm is for recreational riders to wear one.

● Helmets for downhill skiing and snowboarding are not

legislated but have become one of the new trends over the

past few years.

4. Looking forward

As norms shift, it is expected that the products will no longer be

viewed as optional, but rather necessary and welcomed tools.

Activities outlined in this Toolkit can lay the groundwork for more

sustainable initiatives, such as:

● lobbying governments to include bathtub grab bars as part

of the building codes;

● encouraging municipalities to adopt legislation for retrofitting

all bathtubs with grab bars;

● lobbying insurance companies to provide insurance rebates for

homes with bathtub grab bars and other assistive devices; and

● advocating lower mortgage rates for homes that are built to

accommodate universally accessible design principles.

5. Working together to prevent falls

The activities of this program are not meant to work in isolation.

This program is designed to complement other falls prevention

programs, such as monitoring hazards in the environment,

educating seniors about the benefits of active lifestyles and exercise

programs, and individual counselling on personal risk factors for

falls such as medications and lifestyle issues.

Links with other fall prevention partners are an important dimension

of this program. These links will help to ensure that program

activities complement each other and that a spirit of collaboration is

nurtured in your community.

The ProgramFramework on the following page outlines anticipated

impacts of the program and highlights opportunities that may

enhance these impacts.

Chapter ONE - Introduction

Links with other fall

prevention partners are an

important dimension of this

program. These links will

help to ensure that program

activities complement each

other and that a spirit of

collaboration is nurtured in

your community.

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4

Chapter ONE - Introduction

Figure 1: PROGRAM FRAMEWORK

Other fall

prevention

initiatives

Tools for Living Well

Greater acceptance of

assistive devices

Enhance

independent living,

lower risk and

severity of falls

Increased proper

use of AD’s among

seniors and

veterans

Increase community

demand (sales) and

informed choices for

AD’s by seniors and

veterans

Better awareness and

capacity among retailers to

support and service their

consumers

Approach and

support retailers,

hoteliers,

homebuilders

to promote

assistive

devices

Greater visibility and

availability of assistive

devices in new homes,

stores, hotels

Increase in

public demand

for greater

access and

choices

Changes to policy

Changes to product and

building standards

Empirical evidence (e.g.

like statistics)


Chapter TWO

Preventing Falls

Most of us have slips and trips with no serious consequences.

However, among older adults, falls are more common and often

result in serious injuries. The costs of falls are high for those who

fall, their family, and their community. The good news is that older

adults can reduce their risk of falling. This chapter will provide an

overview on the prevalence and costs of falls, risk factors for falls,

and some key strategies to prevent falls.

1. Prevalence of falls among seniors

and veterans

A fall is “an event that results in a person coming to rest

inadvertently on the ground or floor, or other lower level”.

Research shows that:

● 1 in 3 older Canadian adults fall each year, and this risk

increases as they get older 1,3

2. Personal cost of falls

Falls can result in many “costs” for older adults and their families.

The most obvious is personal injury. However, fear of falling, loss of

independent living and even death related to injuries from falls are

also possible consequences. Here are some brief facts:

a) Injuries

● Falls are the most common cause of injury for elderly

people. 4

● Over 90% of hip fractures among seniors are the result of a

fall. 5 Of those who suffer hip fractures:

o up to 24% will die in one year; and

o 80% will be unable to perform at least one instrumental

activity of daily living (e.g. driving, house cleaning). 6

b) Fear of falling

Seniors who fall may limit their activities for fear of falling again. By

limiting their activities, they are less physically active and begin to

loose strength and flexibility. This can increase the risk of falling. 7

One in three seniors

fall. It could happen to you

or someone you love.

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6

Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls

Falls carry a high cost for

both those who fall and for

society.

Tools for Living Well

c) Loss of independent living

● About 40% of nursing home admissions are the direct result

of a fall. 8

● Older adults who have fallen are three times more likely to

be admitted permanently to an institution than those who

have not fallen. 9

d) Death

● Falls account for 57% of deaths due to injury among senior

females, and 36% among males. 4

● Falls are the 6th leading cause of death among older adults

in Canada. 9

3. Cost of falls to our health care

system

In 1994, fall-related injuries in Canada cost approximately 2.8 billion

dollars. 10 This estimate does not take into account the long-term

consequences of fall-related injuries that result from higher rates

of mortality and morbidity, increased vulnerability to future falls,

loss of independence, and lowered quality of life. Given our aging

population, this figure will continue to increase unless we work

together to prevent falls.

4. Risk factors for falls

Risk factors for falls are traditionally grouped into two categories:

personal, environmental. 11,12,13 Personal risk factors include poor

health and choices related to behaviours, lifestyle, or daily activities.

Environmental risk factors include indoor and outdoor hazards that

often are the result of poor design, construction or poor maintenance.

Because different activities can also pose different levels of risk for falls,

we add to risk factors the activity at the time of the fall.

a) Personal risk factors include:

● Health: As we age, our bodies change. Many of us

experience changes in vision (e.g. reduced peripheral

vision, poor night vision) balance problems, loss of

muscle and bone strength, chronic illnesses, and urinary

incontinence. We tend to use more medications, and

many of these, in particular sleep medications and antidepressants,

lead to dizziness and balance problems. Any

and all of these may increase our risk of falling.


● Behaviour and lifestyle choices: Certain behaviour and

lifestyle choices can contribute to our risk of falling. For

example, being physically inactive, not using handrails, or

rushing around can increase our risk of falling.

b) Environmental factors include:

● Hazards indoors: There are things inside the home and

community buildings that can increase our risk of falling. These

may include scatter mats that are not well secured to the floor;

electrical or telephone cords across the floor, and stairs with

poor lighting, no handrails, or uneven steps. In addition, NOT

having safety devices such as grab bars and non-slip mats in

the bathtub or shower can increase our risk of falling.

● Hazards outside: There are hazards outside that can

increase our risk of falling. Poor lighting, broken sidewalks,

Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls

This fictional story of Tom and Mary is, unfortunately, not uncommon. It highlights how falls are often

the result of an interaction between the individual and the environment. Notice the reasons given for

Tom’s fall. They illustrate how several risk factors can be at play in one incident.

Tom is 75. He has experienced many of the “natural” changes that occur with aging. He does not

hear as well as he used too. He has poorer vision. He used to walk on a regular basis but now

believes that exercising is not needed at his age and walks only infrequently. As a result, he has

experienced loss of muscle, reduced strength, and poorer balance. Although he was told by his

doctor that he should use his cane, especially when he walks around outside, he does not feel he is

old enough to use a cane, so he leaves it at home.

One day Tom was out walking with his friend Mary. Mary has experienced losses in vision and

hearing similar to Tom, but she has continued to walk daily and has retained her strength and

balance. She uses a cane to help keep her balance when she is on her walks.

Tom and Mary were enjoying their walk, chatting as they made their way down the sidewalk.

Although they had only been walking a few minutes, Tom was feeling a little fatigued. Suddenly, they

both stumbled on a crack in the sidewalk. Neither had seen it because of their visual challenges. The

fact that they were so busy chatting also contributed to their not seeing the crack. Mary was able to

use her cane to steady herself. She regained her balance and did not fall.

Tom was not so lucky. He lost his balance and fell. He was not able to get up on his own. Mary called

for help. When they examined Tom at the hospital, they discovered that he had broken his hip. Tom

never really recovered from the fall. He became fearful of falling and did even less outside of the

home. His strength deteriorated even more. That was last year. Today, Tom is in a nursing home.

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Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls

Re

Activity Re

Tools for Living Well

R lated

stairs that are not well marked, poor snow or ice removal

are examples of these risks.

c) Activity-related factors:

● Choice of Activity: Some activities inherently have more

risks than others. Climbing a ladder is an example of an

activity-related risk factor. While it is important to keep on

doing the activities that are pleasurable, some activities

may need to be adapted with age. For example, they may

need to be performed during times of greater alertness, or

they may need to be done with the support of an assistive

device or another person.

The following diagram provides examples of some personal,

environmental and activity-related risk factors for falls. These are

only a sample and do not represent ALL risk factors for falls. It also

highlights the dynamic relationship among various risks that is often

at work when an older adult falls.

Taking a bath

Walking outside

in winter

onal

r

Pers rs

Health

Poor balance

Behaviour

Not using a cane

Lifestyle

Being inactive Enviro

nmental

r

Personal risk factors can add up to a fall

Personal risk + Environmental risk + Activity = fall

For example, poor balance + uneven sidewalks + walking = fall

ro

Indoors

No grab bars in tub

Outdoors

Uneven sidewalks,

Poor snow removal


5. Reducing the risk of falls for

seniors

Many older adults believe that there is nothing they can do to

prevent falls. However, many falls don’t JUST happen. Although

older adults can’t prevent all falls, they can minimize some of the

risks. Best practices for falls prevention and the prevention of

injuries resulting from falls, include a combination of: 14

● exercises that work on balance and strength, such as Tai

Chi and strength training;

● environmental modifications, including installing and using

grab bars and other safety devices in bathrooms and

removing hazards in the home;

● psychotropic drug withdrawal (i.e. sleeping medications,

medications for depression);

● clinical screenings for physical and cognitive risk factors

for falls;

● education programs to increase seniors’ awareness and

knowledge of fall risk factors; and

● the use of hip protectors to reduce fall-related hip fractures.

Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls

Many falls are preventable.

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Chapter TWO - Preventing Falls

Tools for Living Well


Chapter THREE

Assistive Devices and

Fall Prevention

The dictionary defines a tool as “a handheld device that aids in

accomplishing a task 15 ”. Assistive devices are tools – tools to help

people stay independent and safe, while engaging in the activities

of everyday living. Just as one might use a hammer to pound a

nail, or a wrench to grab the head of a bolt and increase power

in turning it, one would use a grab bar to provide stability while

showering or bathing, or a cane to help maintain balance when

walking.

This chapter provides an overview of five assistive devices: canes,

bathtub or shower grab bars, bathtub or shower seats, non-slip

bathtub mats for inside and outside the bathtub or shower, and hip

protectors - what they are, how they work, and tips for safe use.

Brochures on each of these devices have been designed to share

with your community. They are provided at the end of the Toolkit

(Brochures 2-6).

1. Canes

Research has found that cane use is associated with improved

confidence and functional ability. 16 By compensating for difficulties

with balance or weakness, a cane may also prevent a fall. Some

people may need to use a cane if they are weak on one side of

their body. People with balance problems may also need to use a

cane. A cane may also help with fatigue and/or reduce pain when

walking. Brochure 2 is a handout on canes that you can share with

your community and businesses.

a) Types of canes

There are many kinds of canes. Most are made of metal, wood, or

plastic. Canes come in many different sizes and can be adjusted in

length to fit the user’s height. It is important that the height of the

cane be correct. The 3 most common types of canes are:

● Standard canes: This type of cane is usually made of

wood or metal. These canes are typically between 34 to 42

inches (86 to 107 cm) long and often have a rounded crook

Asisstive devices can help

people stay independent

and safe while taking part

in the activities of everyday

living.

Choosing a

cane:

If heavy support is needed,

the broad based “quad

cane” is the best one. If

the cane is needed for

balance or light to medium

support, the standard and

straight handled canes work

well. The best approach is

for the user to try out the

two styles, and see which

one he or she finds more

comfortable.

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

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Method 1 for sizing a cane

Method 2 for sizing a cane

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handle. These canes are easy to use and are typically the

least expensive. A cane with a wooden or plastic handle is

often preferred to one with a metal handle. A metal handle

may slip from the user’s hand if the hand sweats. In cold

weather the metal handle may get too cold to touch.

● Straight-handled canes: This cane may also be called a

“T-handle cane” and is usually made of wood, plastic, or

metal. This type of handle works well if the user’s hand is

weak. Using a T-handle cane may offer more stability than a

standard cane.

● Broad-based canes: This is a lightweight metal cane with

4 short legs coming out of the bottom. They are sometimes

called “quad canes” because of the four small feet. These

legs provide more support than other canes. The legs also

allow the cane to stand-up when not in use. This type of cane

is recommended when a lot of support is needed to maintain

balance or if the user has a disability (e.g. after a stroke).

b) Sizing a cane

Canes must be fitted to the user. There are two methods recommended

to measure a cane. Either will do.

Method #1 – Have the client:

1. Turn the cane upside down and put the handle on the floor.

2. Stand with arms at your sides.

3. The tip of the cane should be at the level of the wrist.

Method #2 – Have the client:

1. Stand straight with arms at side.

2. Measure the distance from the point where the wrist bends

(where one wears a wrist watch) to the floor.

A poster has been developed with this Toolkit (See Appendix 2) to

facilitate method #2 by allowing the individual to stand next to the

measurement chart and easily see the length of cane needed.

If a cane appears to be ill-fitted to the user, it may be adjusted.

● For wooden canes, the steps to adjust the size of the cane

are:

1. Place the cane upside down and mark the cane at the

level of the user’s wrist.

2. Remove rubber tip.


3. Cut the cane 1/2 inch shorter than where it was

marked. The rubber tip will make up this difference.

4. Replace rubber tip.

● For aluminium canes, simply adjust as permitted by the

cane. Most aluminum canes can be easily adjusted within

an inch of the desired height by a push-button.

c) Tips for using a cane

There is a right and wrong way to use a cane. Many people use

their canes incorrectly. The following will help you to teach others

how to use a cane correctly. *

Walking With a Cane:

● Make sure the cane is the correct height.

● If the user has a weaker leg, the cane should be held on the

stronger side. If neither leg is “good” or particularly “bad”, it

should be held on the strongest side.

● The cane should be held about 4 inches (10cm) to the side

(far enough that the user will not trip over it, but not so far

that the tip slides away).

● The cane and the opposite leg should move together.

Going up the stairs with a cane: To go up stairs, the user should:

● Take the first step up with the stronger “good” leg.

● Move the cane up to the same step.

● Then, move the weaker “bad” leg to that same step.

Going down the stairs: To go down stairs, the user should:

● Take the first step down with the cane and the weaker

“bad” leg.

● Then, lower the stronger “good” leg to that same step.

Using a cane to get into a chair: The individual should:

● Stand with the back of his or her legs against the chair seat.

● Rest the cane against the chair.

● Reach to grip chair arms with both arms. If the chair has no

arms, hands may support on the seat.

● Lift the weaker leg slightly off the floor and put weight on the

stronger leg.

● Sit down slowly and slide backwards into the chair.

* Some of the nformation and graphics on pages 11-14 were adapted from

Cherish Your Independence, City of Ottawa, Public Health Branch, Fall

Prevention Program

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Weaker leg

Walking with a cane

Going up stairs

Going down stairs

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Getting into and out of a chair

Safety tips when using a cane

Using a cane to get out of a chair: the individual should:

● Hold the cane with his or her stronger hand.

● Grasp the chair arm with the other hand. If the chair has no

arms, hands may support the seat.

● Place his or her stronger foot a little forward.

● Lean a little forward and push on the arms (or seat) of the

chair to rise.

● Stand with the cane about 4 inches (10 cm) to the side of

the stronger foot.

d) Typical costs of canes and cane accessories

Canes range in price between $25 and $100 (all prices listed are in

Canadian dollars as of 2004). They can be purchased in some retail

stores and in specialty shops. In addition to the cane, there are a

number of cane accessories available, including:

● Wrist straps for canes (price range: $5 to $10)

● Cane holders that will fit on a chair or table (price range: $7

to $12)

● Ice picks for the bottom of the cane (price range: $10 to $15)

● Replacement rubber tips (price range: $2 to $4)

● The end of the cane should have a non-skid rubber tip to prevent it from slipping. Rubber tips

should be inspected and worn rubber tips replaced.

● Canes should be equipped with an ice pick for outdoor use in winter months. These should be

raised or removed when walking around indoors.

● Floors should be checked to be sure they are safe for using the cane. Floors should be dry,

well lit and clutter free. Throw rugs should be removed as they slide easily and can cause a

trip or slip. Loose carpet edges should be taped down.

● When walking with a cane, look straight ahead to avoid running into or tripping over

something.

● Heavy objects or loads should not be carried when using a cane as they may compromise

balance. If things need to be carried, using a backpack or carry bag is safer.

Tools for Living Well


2. Hip protectors

In 1993/94, there were 23,375 hip fractures reported in Canada.

With our aging population, it has been projected that this number

will increase almost fourfold, to 88,124 annually by the year 2041. 17

Ninety percent of fractures among people over age 70 are the result

of a fall. 18

Hip protectors are pads that are worn over the hip area. Although

hip protectors will not prevent a fall, research suggests that they will

decrease the risk of a hip fracture when a fall occurs. 19

Hip protectors reduce the risk of a hip fracture by:

● distributing the impact of a force in the hip area, especially

where it is most vulnerable to breaking, in the neck of the

femur; and

● absorbing some of the force associated with the fall onto

the hip.

Brochure 3 is a handout on hip protectors that you can share with

your community and businesses.

a) Hip protector options

Hip protectors are commonly made of hard plastic shields, foam

pads or silicone pads. Some hip protectors combine two materials,

using foam in an airtight waterproof pouch. In the event of a fall, the

foam first absorbs force, and then the pouch is inflated similar to a

miniature automobile air bag to distribute the force.

Some hip protectors are designed to fit into pockets of specially

designed undergarments or sweaters. Others are designed to be

worn as a belt over clothing.

Certain models have front crotch panels that snap off permitting a

quick and easy incontinent pad/liner change without having to pull

the brief down.

Hip protectors’ models ARE NOT bulky and awkward. In fact, there

are styles that do not show under most clothing.

Brochure #11 offers a table containing hip protectors and suppliers,

as of 2004.

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Most hip fractures are the

result of the impact of a fall.

Hip protectors can prevent a

hip fracture if a fall happens.

Example of brief style hip

protectors

Example of belt style hip

protectors

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Safety Tips for Hip Protectors

Tools for Living Well

b) Sizing hip protectors

Hip protectors come in different styles and sizes. Sizing is usually

based on hip measurement. Where feasible, the user should try a

variety of sizes to find the one that fits best. Instructions for proper

use should be included on the manufacturer’s packaging.

c) Typical cost of hip protectors

Hip protectors range in price between $50 and $200 CND (as of

2004). Hip protectors can typically be purchased over the Internet or

from specialty medical stores.

● Wear the hip protector both indoors and outdoors.

● Hip protectors should be worn at night as well as during the day. Many falls occur as people

get out of bed at night to go to the bathroom.

● Hip protectors should be examined after a fall, even if the user did not sustain an injury. The

fall may have resulted in cracks to the shells or other changes to the hip protector. If the hip

protector appears damaged, it should be replaced. Some hip protectors may need to be

changed if they receive an impact force regardless of whether there is visible damage. Read

the instructions for use.

How do I wear them?

The hip protector should be worn over the uppermost area at the top and outside of your leg where

the thigh ends. This region is called the trochanter. Do not confuse this area with the ileum, which is

the bone below the waist and at the front of your stomach. To find the trochanter, lower your arms

so that the palms of your hands are resting against the outside of your thighs. Move your hands up

and down until you feel a bony area at the top of your leg. The hard surface

of the trochanter should be felt under the palms or fingers of your hands. If

not, try lifting one leg a few inches off the ground and turning your foot in

and out (i.e., towards your other leg and away from you). This action will

reveal the indented area of flesh covering the top of the trochanter. Another

method of locating your trochanter is to try lifting your leg up and down

sideways to locate the indentation of flesh.

This diagram shows where the hip protector

should be placed over the hip bone (Trochanter).


3. Grab bars

Difficulty using the bathtub or shower is a common problem among

older adults. 1

● As many as 15% of falls happen in the bathroom. Of these,

more than half (55%) occur while getting into and out of the

bathtub, or raising or lowering into the bathtub.

● Up to 1/3 of seniors restrict their bathing practices,

sometimes only sponge bathing at the sink, because they

have difficulty with getting in or out of the bathtub.

Bathtub and shower grab bars can compensate for the effects of

age-related changes that increase the risk of falling while bathing.

A grab bar, made of stainless steel, aluminum, or plastic, firmly

fixed in the wall of the bathtub or shower stall, allows the user

to steady him/herself while stepping into or out of the bathtub or

shower, and while raising or lowering him/herself into the bathtub.

Brochure 4 is a handout on grab bars that you can share with your

community and businesses.

a) Bathtub and shower grab bar options

Grab bars for the bathtub and shower come in various styles,

shapes, and sizes. Grab bars in the bathtub or shower stall can be

wall mounted or portable.

● Wall mounted bathtub or shower grab bars should be firmly

anchored into the studs of the wall. Things you should know

about wall-mounted grab bars:

o They can help the user to steady him/herself while

stepping in and out of the bathtub or shower stall and help

the user safely lower into and raise up from the bathtub.

o They are either straight or “L”-shaped and can be fitted

onto the wall in various angles and configurations.

o The length of the grab bar will depend, in part, on the

distance between the studs in the bathtub or shower

stall wall. Someone who knows how to find wall studs

should figure out this measurement to make sure that

the attachment plates on the bar will fit on the centres of

the wall studs.

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Grab bars are not only

for seniors or people with

disabilities... EVERYONE

can benefit from them.

Example of a straight grab bar

Example of an L-shaped grab

bar

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Example of bathtub grab bar

placement

Example of shower stall grab

bar placement

In Gatineau, Quebec, a

condominium builder for

older adults offered new

homeowners the option to

have a grab bar installed in

their bathtub, free of cost. A

total of 27% accepted.

Tools for Living Well

● Portable bathtub grab bars, usually shaped like a horseshoe,

are installed on the bathtub rim.

o Portable grab bars can be installed with minimal effort

and are removable, so they can be detached and taken

when the user moves.

o Portable bathtub rim bars will only help the user to

steady him/herself while stepping in and out of the

bathtub. They are NOT designed to support the user

when sitting into or getting up from the bottom of the

bathtub.

b) Choosing a grab bar

There are several things to consider when selecting grab bars.

These include:

● Number of bars: Although individual needs vary, a minimum

of two grab bars in a bathtub are most useful for most older

adults; one to help enter and leave the bathtub, and one to

help with sitting into and getting up from the bottom of the

bathtub.

● Weight limitation: Most grab bars will support the weight of

a person up to 113 kg (250 lbs). Grab bar manufacturers will

often list a specific weight limitation on their packaging. If a

user’s weight exceeds 113 kg (250 lbs), wall mounted grab

bars that will hold up to 454 kg (1000 lbs) can be special

ordered from the retailer or manufacturer.

● Correct diameter: The best diameter for grab bars is

between 3 to 4.5 cm (1 ¼ and 1 ¾ inches) for adults. Each

person should try different sizes to see which is more

comfortable for their hand and their grip strength.

● Textured, non-slip surface: It is essential that the surface

of the bar has a non-slip surface where the individual is

most likely to grab the bar so that it is not slippery when the

user grabs it with wet hands.

● Aesthetics: Grab bars come in a variety of colours so you

can match the bathroom décor. However, safety is the most

important consideration when choosing grab bars!

c) Tips for installation

Because individual needs and characteristics vary, it may be

important to have a health care professional determine the specific

placement of the grab bar(s). In general, for bathtubs, most people

should have:

● a bar located on the wall closest to where the user enters

the bathtub; and


● a horizontal, angled (45 degrees) or L-shaped bar on the

back wall can be used to provide support and stability when

sitting down or getting up

Ceramic tiles are a concern when installing grab bars as they can

crack very easily. However, a professional tradesman should be able

to install grab bars through ceramic tiles.

If seniors are purchasing moulded bathtubs or shower stalls (e.g.

fibreglass), they should ask whether or not grab bars can be

installed in these units.

d) Typical cost of grab bars

Generally, a grab bar costs anywhere from $20 to $150 CDN (as

of 2004). Bathtub and shower grab bars can be purchased in

many department stores, hardware stores and specialty medical

supply stores.

Grab Bar Safety Tips

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Example of wall studs

Although grab bars are designed to improve safety when bathing or showering, an improperly

installed grab bar can be more dangerous than no bar at all. It is therefore recommended that:

● All wall mounted grab bars be installed by a professional with experience in installing them.

● If a bar is horizontally mounted on a wall, it should have wall clearance of only approximately

3.5 to 4.5 cm (1 3/8 to 1 ¾ inches) from the wall where the grab bar is mounted. This is a

safety feature. If the individual slips and grabs the bar, he or she won’t catch his or her arm in

the gap between the wall and the bar.

● Installation height: the Canadian Standard Association recommend that a wall mounted grab

bar be installed at a height of 18-28 cm above the rim above the rim of the bathtub.

● Length: should be at least 120 cm long.

● Grab bars must be mounted to the wood framing (studs) behind the ceramic tile of a bathtub

or shower stall.

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Example of a bath/shower

seat

Example of a transfer bench

with a backrest (extends over

the side of the tub for easier

access into and out of the

bathtub

Tools for Living Well

4. Bathtub and shower seats

A bathtub or shower seat may also be referred to as a chair, bench

or stool. Bathtub and shower seats are devices used in the bathtub

or shower that allow the user to sit without having to get right to

the bottom of the bathtub. They are designed for people who have

difficulty raising or lowering themselves into the bottom of the tub

and for those with limited tolerance for standing in the shower. They

are usually used with a hand held shower head, which allows the

user to direct the water as desired from the seated position.

Brochure 5 is a handout on bathtub and shower seats that you can

share with your community and businesses.

a) Bathtub and shower seat options

A variety of bathtub and shower seats are available.

● Bathtub and shower seats are usually made of plastic, wood

or metal.

● Some bathtub benches fit inside the bathtub. Others extend

outside of the bathtub (transfer bench), so the user can sit

on the bench outside of the bathtub, slide his/her legs over

the bathtub rim, and then slide further along the bench until

he/she is in the bathtub.

● Some bathtub and shower seats have padding to make

them more comfortable to sit on; others have a plastic seat.

Some have non-slip seat surfaces.

● Some bathtub and shower seats have a back support to

increase stability and comfort while sitting.

● Some bathtub and shower seats are height adjustable.

● Bathtub and shower seats must have non-slip feet.

b) Choosing a bathtub or shower seat

The specific requirements for a bathtub or shower seat depend in

part, on the user’s needs. For example, for users who have difficulty

balancing for whatever reason and require additional support,

bathtub or shower seats with back support are best. Similarly,

for people who have difficulty balancing themselves to enter the

bathtub, bath benches that extend over the bathtub rim are safest

because the person can sit down on the bench first, and then bring

each leg into the tub.


c) Cost of bathtub and shower seats

Generally, a bathtub or shower seat costs between $40 and $100

CDN (as of 2004). Bathtub and shower seats can be purchased at

specialty medical stores. Some department stores, pharmacies and

hardware stores may also carry them.

5. Non-slip bathtub and shower mats

Non-slip surfaces are a basic safety feature for both inside and outside

the bathtub and shower to prevent slipping. Bathtub or shower

mats will help prevent falls in the bathtub and shower by providing

traction while moving around, especially when stepping in and out of

the bathtub or shower stall.

Brochure 6 is a handout on non-slip bathtub and shower mats that

you should share with your community and businesses.

Mats for inside the bathtub or shower should have many suction

cups on the back to make them stick to the bottom of the tub. A

good quality bath mat is thick, flexible, and has good suction. A safe

bath mat covers the full bottom surface of the tub.

Always pull the mat up after bathing is finished and clean the

top and bottom of the mat. If left on the bottom of the tub and not

cleaned, water gets trapped under and around the suction cups and

can cause mildew and other unsanitary conditions. Many rubber

bath mats can be washed in the washing machine on gentle

cycle. Washing them with a couple of towels will help to remove any

soap residue from the bath mat that may prevent it from properly

sticking to the surface of the tub.

When bath mats get older, they dry out and crack, and do not stick

well. Bathmats should be replaced periodically. Bathroom floor

mats (or rugs) on the floor outside the tub or shower need to be

non-slip as well. Many bathroom floors are made of tile or vinyl.

Thus, bath mats without a rubber backing may slide on the floor

when stepping in or out of the tub or shower, causing a fall. A solid

rubber backing is essential to ensure the mat will not slip. Floor

mats should also be checked regularly for wear, to ensure that they

provide friction.

Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

Safety tips for

bathtub and

shower seats

Bath seats should be adjusted

so that it is easy and safe

for the user to get up and sit

down, and to feel balanced

and secure when sitting.

Bathtub or shower seats

should have non-slip rubber

tips on the legs. Rubber tips

will provide suction on the

tub bottom.

A bathtub bench or shower

seat should be stable enough

to support the user who may

need to put weight on it to

help him or her sit down.

Non-slip seats are safest.

Everybody is vulnerable to

slipping, so we recommend

that everyone use non-slip

mats for inside and outside

bathtubs and shower stalls.

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Chapter THREE - Assistive Devices and Fall Prevention

We DO NOT recommend non-slip strips or decals as an alternative to non-slip bath or shower mats.

With time, the rubber that safety treads are made from dries out and no longer provides sufficient

stability for the user. In addition, it is difficult to tell when safety treads need to be replaced and

therefore can become dangerous to the user.

Thus, someone with safety treads already installed on the bathtub or shower floor should still use a

non-slip mat.

Tools for Living Well


Chapter FOUR

Getting Started: Mobilizing

Your Community

Strategies identified in Tools for Living Well are designed to be

implemented in a community setting. Each community has unique

strengths and experiences. The strategies offered in this chapter

will help you:

● identify and develop potential partnerships and

collaborations for this program;

● recruit volunteers to advise you and work with you;

● increase community awareness around falls prevention and

assistive devices; and

● tailor the program to your community’s needs.

1. Getting to know your community

The Tools for Living Well program relies on community knowledge

and participation. We have developed a tool (Program Tool 2:

Community Profile) to help you to get to know your community better.

Even if you are “well connected” in your community, you may

find the Community Profile very helpful. Creating this Community

Profile will help you gather information that you may need as you

approach businesses (e.g. number of seniors in your region). The

Profile will also allow you to identify and explore potential organizations

and partners that may have similar goals and who can help

support you. Finally, this profile will also help you to identify businesses

that you may wish to approach.

2. Using volunteers for this program

There are a number of ways that volunteers can be involved in

this program. One group of volunteers may form a team of local

advisers known as a Community Advisory Team (CAT). In addition,

Program/Senior Volunteers may help you work with and support

the business community.

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Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

A Community Advisory

Team can be vital to the

success of your program.

Tools for Living Well

You may also wish to involve volunteers in approaching and supporting

businesses. We will refer to these people as Program

Volunteers. Adults of any age can be Program Volunteers, but there

may be some special advantages in recruiting seniors to fill this role,

as we did in our pilot programs (see Appendix 1).

Some volunteers may wish to take on both roles, participating on

the CAT and interacting with businesses. Others may wish to take

on only one of these roles. It is important to be clear about the

requirements and the time commitments for the two roles when

recruiting volunteers. This will allow each individual to choose the

role he or she prefers.

a) Community Advisory Team (CAT)

A Community Advisory Team (CAT) may be crucial to the success of

community-based programs, such as this program. CAT members

are community members who know their community well. The CAT

may comprise seniors and veterans, health care professionals, and

representatives of businesses or senior organizations. The CAT can

help you identify the best approach for selecting local businesses,

select businesses, identify other key stakeholders or seniors who

might support your efforts, and provide general guidance.

The size of your CAT will vary with the size of the community, but

should probably include 6 to 12 members, drawn from a variety of

organizations and backgrounds. A variety of talents are needed, and

the team members should be allowed to select the jobs that most

interest them and match their skills. You will likely want to choose

CAT members who:

● show an interest, enthusiasm and a willingness to offer their

time and energy to the program;

● show an interest or knowledge of assistive devices and

have a positive attitude towards their use in the general

community;

● have a background in sales, retail, construction,

homebuilding, hotel management, or similar business type.

It is essential to have businesses represented on the CAT.

The skills and contacts picked up in these areas will be of

great assistance in the approach to the businesses;

● have links with businesses or organizations and can help

make these links and/or advocate within their organizations

and communities; and


● have public relations or media related experience.

Note: These are simply guidelines. No CAT member is expected to

meet all of these criteria.

Some sources for CAT members might be:

● the local health care community, including the public health

unit, geriatric programs, occupational therapy or physical

therapy departments and providers, home care programs,

geriatricians;

● the Chamber of Commerce, the local association of home

builders, retailers, pharmacists or hoteliers;*

● local legions, senior centres or other senior groups such as

the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA), senior

walking clubs, etc.; and

● local service clubs such as Rotary, Lions;

● disability or senior advocacy groups and coalitions such as

Access Canada; and

● representatives from Veteran’s Affairs Canada, Health

Canada, the provincial ministry of health, or the local health

boards.

b) Program Volunteers

Program Volunteers should be people, perhaps seniors, who are:

Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

● influential members of the community;

● interested in their own healthy lifestyles; and

● committed to improving health awareness and conditions in

their community.

Engaging Program Volunteers is based on a “train the trainer” model,

where one individual receives education in a particular program, and

then returns to the community and passes the information and skills

on to another group of participants. The role of the Program Volunteer

could be to help “spread the word” to seniors. With proper training,

Program Volunteers can be involved in approaching and supporting

businesses themselves.

* To find local branches of your local organizations, look up the provincial or

national associations on the internet, and follow links to the local members

(e.g. The Canadian Homebuilders Association’s web site is http://www.chba.

ca/. They have links to provincial and local branches.)

Tips:

Do not exclude key people

in the community whose

knowledge and skills would

be beneficial to the program

but who do not have the

time to commit to regular

meetings.

A list of contacts who

are willing to come to

one meeting to address

a specific issue (e.g.

an architect) or who will

meet with you from time

to time to answer specific

questions (e.g. someone

from the municipal by-law

enforcement office) may

also be valuable.

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Chapter FOUR

- Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

Tools for Living Well

Engaging community members in this process promotes community

ownership of the problem and the program activities. By

actively participating in planning and implementing of the programs,

Program Volunteers will promote community control and ownership

of the program.

It is important to know that the job requires a number of skills and

some training is required. Engaging volunteers requires fewer program

dollars but does require support and coordination.

The number of Program Volunteers you recruit will depend, in

part, on the geographic size and population of your community, and

the amount of time each of these volunteers is able to give. In estimating

the number of Program Volunteers to recruit, you will need

to consider the following:

● How quickly does the work need to be done?

● How much time, in an average week, can the Program

Volunteers devote to the program?

● How many businesses will your Program Volunteers need

to visit?

● What transportation services are available to reach these

businesses?

● How many of your Program Volunteers are likely to be

away or unable to participate for periods of time during your

program implementation? (Ex. Summer holidays)

● How long will Program Volunteers continue with the

program?

When selecting Program Volunteers, consider people who:

● show an interest in community service in the area of falls

prevention and an ability to understand the problem of

falls. They don’t need to know much about the topic if they

demonstrate a willingness to learn;

● have an interest in or knowledge of assistive devices, and

have a positive attitude towards their use in the general

community;

● are able to convey ideas enthusiastically and have the time

and energy to commit to the program;

● know the community well;

● are comfortable approaching both people they know and

don’t know; and

● have good communication skills for the business community.


We recommend that you recruit Program Volunteers who come from

a variety of backgrounds and have complementary skills. It is helpful

but not essential to find volunteers who have a background in

health, sales, retail, construction, architecture, engineering, municipal

planning, hotel management, or business. This type of background

equips the Program Volunteer with skills and contacts that will be of

great assistance when approaching businesses.

The Community Profile and your work in the community (meetings,

presentations) may help you to identify potential veterans for this

program. Some particularly useful organizations that you may want to

connect with to recruit your Program Volunteers are:

● Chamber of Commerce – they may know of some retired

business people who would make excellent Program

Volunteers;

● Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, Kiwanis Club or similar groups of

community supporters;

● local Probus Club, which is particularly aimed at retired

business people; and

● local Seniors’ Associations and/or legions.

Other strategies to consider when recruiting volunteers include:

● local radio or cable television ads;

● newspaper ads (be sure to emphasize that the position is

volunteer);

● notices on parish bulletin boards or in church bulletins; and

● local volunteer boards.

Seniors as Program Volunteers

Involving seniors as Program Volunteers may offer several advantages

over volunteers of other ages.

Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

● Senior Volunteers can act as peer models, demonstrating

prevention activities through their own actions.

● Seniors who can tell stories about their own fall or near fall

experiences with enthusiasm and speak “from the heart” may

have more credibility than health care providers.

● If they have lived in their community for many years, they

may know it well. This will give them connections they can

use when contacting businesses.

● Because their community already knows them, they have

credibility. Senior Volunteers can act as facilitators to the

community and can help shape community opinions.

Tips:

Personal phone calls and

meetings over coffee with

friends and people who are

referred to you by your CAT

members or other contacts

are particularly effective

strategies for recruiting

volunteers.

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Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

Tips:

Involving volunteers to

work with businesses has

advantages and challenges.

You should decide if using

Program Volunteers to work

with businesses makes

sense for your community.

Tips:

● When preparing presentations, it is important to keep in mind the target audience. For example,

when presenting to business groups you may emphasize the value of meeting the senior

consumers’ needs. But when presenting to seniors or veterans groups, it might be more

beneficial to highlight the benefits of assistive devices.

● Identify the two or three key messages you want them to take away.

● Provide your audience with stories and ideas that they can easily transmit to others. You’ll be

invited to meetings where you have 5 minutes to speak, others where you’re the main speaker,

and may be requested to speak for 30 or 45 minutes. Be prepared for a variety of situations.

Tools for Living Well

● Seniors are the target market that we are trying to get

businesses to think about. Having seniors provide the

messages you want out in the community may make

the resources more compelling. Seniors may have more

success at convincing a retailer that a senior might buy the

product if it is displayed.

However, working with Senior Volunteers may also present challenges.

● Recruiting and educating Senior Volunteers can be time

consuming.

● Senior volunteers may require a great deal of support, which

means time on your part.

● Senior Volunteers may take prolonged vacations or become ill.

3. Community meetings and

presentations

A key strategy for increasing awareness around falls and the benefits

of assistive devices for promoting independent living in your

community will be community meetings and presentations. These

can provide opportunities to garner support from community partners,

volunteers, and businesses.

As you consider community meetings you will need to be strategic.

Senior and veteran organizations might offer good venues. For

example, legions, senior centres or clubs. Other groups that you

may consider sharing information with include:

● caregiver groups (e.g. Alzheimer’s support groups,

Osteoporosis Society);


● health care professionals (e.g. day hospital staff,

physiotherapists, occupational therapists, public health

nurses);

● local business associations or groups (e.g. hotel

associations, Chamber of Commerce);

● service clubs (Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, etc.);

● local legions; and

● church groups.

We have prepared a presentation for you to consider using

(Program Tool 1 on disk). This presentation may be modified as

appropriate for your region (e.g. include local statistics on falls,

examples of fall prevention successes in your region) and audience.

Information from this presentation may also be used for

media releases.

a) Community events

You may wish to run some community events to increase awareness

around the issue of falls and assistive devices and to highlight this

program and the businesses who support the program. Examples

include:

Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

● Setting up and staffing information and demonstration

booths at seniors fairs, wellness fairs, home shows or in the

stores of participating businesses;

● Selling Christmas gift baskets which include various fall

prevention oriented items, e.g. a decorative cane, an ice

pick tip for the cane, non-slip ice grips that slip over boots.

● Running a fashion show that features fashionable canes to

go with different outfits.

4. Collect local stories

Stories and anecdotes are an important means of communication.

Collecting local stories about falls, maintaining independence, as

well as assistive devices provides a way of talking about the issues

and highlights the relevance of the program to your community.

Stories can help people develop a new way of understanding, and

reflecting and taking action on a problem. They can get people to

envision new possibilities for their community. Finally, a good story

line is what every reporter is looking for – it is an effective way of

getting media attention.

Tips:

You may wish to approach

some community

organizations and partner

with them in running these

events.

For example, a local church

group might partner with

you to run a fashion show,

or a student group might

assist with the assembly

and sales of the Christmas

baskets.

Tips:

Many large organizations (e.g.

public health departments)

will have a communications

department with professionals

who are skilled in media

relations.

Individuals working in a

communications department

in a public health department

may be potential partners for

the program if they have the

time to assist with some of the

media advocacy work.

Be sure to find out

about these important

communication resources

as you complete your

Community Profile.

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Chapter FOUR - Getting Started: Mobilizing Your Community

Tips:

● Brief stories of falls may be useful. Success stories related to falls prevention are also potentially

powerful.

● Avoid using stories that embarrass, humiliate, or make organizations and/or individuals look like

the “bad guy”.

● Always use sound professional judgement to ensure appropriate anonymity for individuals or

organizations that are the basis for a story.

Tools for Living Well

5. Media Advocacy

Media advocacy involves working with mass media (television, community

and regional newspapers, radio) to raise awareness of the

issues the program is tackling. Media are a way to reach the public,

organizations and politicians. In the short-term, effective media

coverage shapes public opinion and expectations, and begins to

mobilize community support around an issue. In the longer term,

sustained media coverage can set the stage for policy change.

Working successfully with media is a skill honed over time. If

you have little experience working with media, you might want to

consider approaching someone with solid media experience to

assist you.


Chapter FIVE

Selecting and Planning your

Approach to Businesses

Now that you have identified and recruited your team and identified

community partners and potential businesses in your region through

the Community Profile, you are ready to begin your approach to

businesses. This chapter will outline tips and strategies that you and

your team (CAT and Program Volunteers, if you have them) can use

for: a) selecting businesses (priority setting); and b) planning your

approach to businesses.

1. Selecting businesses to target

There are several approaches to selecting the businesses that you

wish to target.

● Send an introductory mailing to all of the businesses in your

area inviting them to participate.

● Use a priority setting exercise to select the businesses that

you and your team feel would be most likely to participate

and have the biggest impact in your community. You may

wish to concentrate on one category at a time (e.g. begin

with retailers), and add the other business types (e.g.

hoteliers, homebuilders) later. Or you may want to identify a

couple of businesses within each category at the same time.

a) Using a blanket introductory mailing

If your region has a smaller number of businesses or if you have

many volunteers who can help you with the follow-up appointments,

you may wish to do a “blanket” mailing to all of the businesses in

each of the three target areas (retailers, hoteliers and homebuilders).

Program Tool 5 provides the template of an introductory letter that

can assist you. Follow that up with a phone call to arrange a visit for

those who are interested.

b) Priority setting businesses

If you have a large area or a limited amount of time, you will

not likely be able to target all of the retailers, hoteliers, and

homebuilders in your region. You will need to make decisions about

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Chapter FIVE - Selecting and Planning your Approach to Businesses

Tools for Living Well

which businesses you will work with in the short term. This does

not preclude working with other businesses at a later time, but it

does mean setting priorities, based on your available resources

and anticipated impacts. It may be most efficient to target

businesses that you know might be sensitized to the issue of falls

prevention first, then slowly work your way to those that may be

more resistant. The more businesses you have on board, the

easier it may be to engage others that may have been resistant at

the beginning of the program.

Setting priorities is best done with a group of people who know the

community well, such as your Community Advisory Team (CAT)

and Program Volunteers. Although this is not an exact science, the

exercise in Program Tool 3 should at least give you a basis to get

you started in selecting target businesses.

2. Planning your approach

Now that you have identified the businesses you want to approach

first, you need to identify an effective strategy to use. The Strategic

Planning Exercise in Program Tool 4 can help you in this task. It

prompts you to gather any information from other team members

that might be helpful to the person who will be making the contact,

including identifying what approach might work best with this business.

An example would be a retailer who offers senior discount

days. One of the CAT members knows that this particular retailer

also sits on the board of a local Alzheimer’s Society. The best

approach for this particular retailer, therefore, might be to emphasize

the service to the community and support for independent living

for seniors.


Chapter SIX

Approaching and Working

with Businesses

You are now ready to approach businesses. If you are working with

a CAT or with Program Volunteers, you may want to consider who

might be best suited to make the initial contact. It may be most

appropriate for you to make the initial call. However, if a member of

your CAT or a Program Volunteer is comfortable doing so, or knows

the business owner or manager, you may want to encourage him or

her to establish initial contact on behalf of the program.

Program Tools 8-10 outline specific information that you may want to

share with homebuilders, hoteliers, and retailers, respectively.

1. Approaching businesses

Step 1: Making the initial contact

Your initial approach with businesses will, in most cases, determine

whether or not you will be successful in convincing them to become

involved in the promotion of assistive devices. If approaching businesses

is new to you, the following steps may serve to guide you:

● Send an introductory letter letting the business know that

you will be contacting them to make an appointment.

A sample letter is included as Program Tool 5 for your

convenience.

● Follow-up with a phone call to set an appointment time.

Before calling, make sure you know the appropriate contact

position (e.g. manager, owner) and name of the person to

speak to. Call at a time that is convenient for the business.

Be prepared to play “telephone tag”. If you can’t reach them

by phone, a face-to-face visit may be required. During this

contact, your objective is to set up a time where you can

meet with the business representative for 15-30 minutes to

let them know more about assistive devices and how YOU

can help THEM. Stress that you wish to meet at a time

that is convenient for THEM. Be flexible in meeting their

If you are planning to

evaluate this program, we

highly recommend you

read chapter 7 before

approaching businesses.

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Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Tips:

Businesses are more likely

to respond positively to an

approach that emphasizes

mutual benefit and

collaboration.

Sharing information on

the issue of falls and the

role that assistive devices

could play in reducing falls,

and offering assistance to

them should they choose to

promote assistive devices is

more likely to be successful

than using an aggressive

“sell” approach.

Tools for Living Well

busy schedule. A sample script, Program Tool 6, has been

developed for you to use.

● If the business representative is not interested or will not meet

with you, you can either re-evaluate (maybe another strategy

might be more effective) or move on to another business.

Step 2: Meeting to “make your case”

The goal of this face-to-face meeting with the business

representative is to “make your case”. You will want to provide the

business representative with a little more information about assistive

devices. You may also take this opportunity to educate the business

representative about the specific types of assistive devices that they

can promote and how Tools for Living Well can help to support them

in promoting the device(s). Presentation information should include

the following:

● A brief overview of the target market for the devices,

including size of the senior market in your community,

buying habits and, if applicable, other businesses in your

community that promote the product. Brochure 1 (Seniors

are Good for Business!) provides information that you may

want to share.

● An overview of the seriousness of falls and how assistive

devices can help. You can share information from Brochure

10 (Protect yourself from falls!) and leave a copy of the

brochure with them.

● An overview of the assistive devices that the business is

best suited to promote, including features, benefits and

samples, if available. Program Tools 8-10 provide guidance

on specific information pieces that will be most relevant for

the different business types (homebuilders, hoteliers, and

retailers, respectively).

Information on the specific devices that the business may be able

to promote and share with customers is detailed in Brochures

2-6. Hotels may also be interested in the travel safety brochure

(Brochure 8 – Avoid falls while travelling!). Retailers may be

interested in the brochure on funding (Brochure 7 – Invest in your

independence!).

Step 3: Follow-up thank you

Whether or not the business elects to support this initiative, send

a letter thanking the representative for their time. Program Tool 7

provides you with a sample letter


a) Handling concerns

Some of the businesses may have objections to the suggestion

that they should do more (or anything!) to promote assistive devices.

It is important to hear and understand their concerns. The table

below lists some of the common concerns or objections that might

be raised by businesses and suggested ways of handling these.

Concerns Way of handling concern

“I don’t make the decisions.

It’s done at our corporate

head office.”

“This will cost a lot and take

time.”

“I don’t see why this is so

important – we’ve done

without them for a long time

and never had complaints

from customers.”

Ask for the name, address and telephone/email of the individual

you should contact at the head office.

Provide information about the cost of assistive devices.

Most of the items are not high cost items. While it may cost a bit

of money up front, the potential to increase their market share

may be worth it. Provide strategies to reduce costs. For example,

for hoteliers, you may suggest that rather than put grab bars in all

of their rooms they can set a goal of installing grab bars in 10% of

bathrooms per year or install them as they are renovating.

Review the information about the serious impact of falls on

seniors, the information about how important seniors are as

customers, and the number of seniors in their community.

“Seniors aren’t my customers.” Provide statistics on the growing senior population.

“ I don’t know any sources of

supply for these products.”

Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Provide a list of suppliers in your area or a website with a list.

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Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Tips:

● You may wish to emphasize that devices such as bathtub bars or non-slip mats are useful for

all ages, including the small child stepping over the side of the tub, the pregnant woman whose

balance may be compromised or sleepy adult who may be a bit unsteady on his or her feet, etc.

● Don’t be disappointed or surprised if the business representative doesn’t show for the meeting or

cancels at the last minute. In competitive businesses, customers and sales always come first.

Tools for Living Well

2. General approach to supporting

businesses

Together with your CAT team and Program Volunteers, you can decide

who might be best suited to provide ongoing support or follow-up to the

business. The first step in supporting a business is to gain an understanding

of their current knowledge and practices around promoting

assistive devices so that together you can map out a plan that will best

address their needs. A brief interview and environmental scan can help

you (See evaluation chapter, Chapter 7).

Once you have a clear sense of what the business may need,

you should establish regular contact with them. We propose that

contact with each business be made on a monthly basis. You may

choose to do this yourself or train a volunteer to make the regular

contacts. Each contact should last no more than 15 minutes. These

visits can provide and opportunity to:

● Determine how things are going.

● Offer your support.

● Identify if they have made changes to their practices. If they

have, reinforce these changes. If they have not, ask how

you can help them overcome any barriers.

● Provide information and answer questions.

● Inform them of special events related to assistive devices

that are relevant to their business.

● Assist them in making connections with suppliers of

assistive devices.

● Replenish their supply of customer brochures (if applicable).


In addition, for retailers, ongoing contact provides opportunities to:

● Put up or replace posters or set up displays for the

promotion of assistive devices.

3. Supporting businesses in change

In supporting businesses, you will need to tailor your support to

their experiences, knowledge, and capacities to promote assistive

devices.

People tend to make changes in stages. They typically go through a

series of steps as they move from thinking about making a change

towards adopting new practices. Businesses are no different. In

general, when considering their “readiness” to promote assistive

devices, consider which stage the business is at and gently encourage

it to move up the various steps.*

● Precontemplation or contemplation. Businesses in this

stage do not promote assistive devices (i.e. stores do not

carry them, homebuilders and hotels do not make them

available). These businesses may not be aware how they

can make a difference and may know little about assistive

devices. Your goal in working with them may be to

introduce them to the issue, increase their awareness and

support them in taking steps to begin incorporating assistive

devices into their business plan.

● Early action. Businesses in this stage have thought about

how they can start promoting assistive devices and may

even have a limited number of devices available. Your goal

may be to offer them ideas and support for expanding their

stock of assistive devices to ensure that they have different

types and sizes to meet different consumer needs. You may

also want to help them identify suppliers.

● Action-maintenance. Businesses in this stage already

promote a good range of assistive devices. Your goal may

be to help them better market that they offer a good range of

* These stages were adapted from the Stages of Change Theory20 and

Rogers Diffusion of Innovation theory. 21

* These stages were adapted from the Stages of Change Theory

21

Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Tips:

There are times of the year

that are demanding for

different businesses and

they are less likely to have

the time to meet with you

or consider new programs.

Spring and summer, for

example, are very busy

times for construction and

homebuilders. Consider

approaching them in winter

months. Retailers are

very busy during the pre-

Christmas season.

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Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Tips:

It may not be appropriate

or feasible to expect all

businesses to progress at

the same rate.

For example it may not

be feasible to expect all

retailers to carry a variety of

assistive devices once they

are on board.

For some, simply beginning

to carry one brand may be

success.

Similarly, the notion of

providing grab bars as a

standard amenity to new

homebuyers may be quite

novel to homebuilders and

you will not likely be able to

convince them all, but you

may have success in getting

them to begin displaying

bars in their model homes.

Tools for Living Well

assistive devices, for example, helping them to better display

what they offer or helping them with promotional materials.

● Diffusion of innovation. Businesses in this stage are

working toward supporting other businesses or head office

and are serving as models. Your goal may be to reinforce

their leadership role and to help them in their desire to

reach out to their head office (if they are part of a chain) or

other businesses. Program Tool 11 addresses the stages

of change more explicitly according to each business type

(retailer, homebuilder, hotel), along with a description of

concrete ways to help you approach the business at each

of these stages.

Supporting businesses in making changes

The diagram on the next page illustrates the stages of change, as

we have adapted and applied them to the Tools for Living Well pro-

gram, along with the goal at each stage.


Chapter SIX - Approaching and Working with Businesses

Working with Businesses:

Goals According to Adapted Stages of Change

Diffusion of innovation (have changed and are willing

to assist others to change)

● reinforce their leadership role

● help them to reach out to head offi ce & other businesses

Action-maintenance (have changed practices and may

need help to maintain the change)

● helping them to better display what they offer

● help them with promotional materials

Early action (beginning to make small changes)

offer them ideas and support for expanding their stock

● help them identify suppliers

Precontemplation or contemplation (not thinking about change at this time)

● introduce them to the issue

● increase their awareness

● support them in taking steps to begin

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Chapter SIX

- Approaching and Working with Businesses

Tools for Living Well


Chapter SEVEN

Evaluating your Program

1. Introduction to evaluation

Evaluation is something we do every day. We gather and look

at information about things that we do in order to learn from our

experiences. As you become involved with falls prevention and the

promotion of assistive devices, you will likely have questions about

how effective your efforts have been.

An evaluation provides useful feedback to the program team, as

well as participants, stakeholders, community groups, and other

interested persons. The evaluation process can:

● affirm your successes;

● help you to understand any problems;

● identify improvements in the program; and

● and inform your planning for further action.

This chapter will outline what aspects of this program you need to

evaluate, and provide a step-by-step guide to collecting your data.

2. What should you consider

evaluating?

The two most common areas of evaluation are process and outcome.

1. Process evaluation will give you information on how things

are being done. It helps to describe the steps that you took

along the way, and give you ideas on how to improve them.

Process evaluation can be formal (structured interviews,

surveys or observations) or informal (discussion and questions).

The questions you ask could include:

● the effectiveness of the advisory team processes;

● the level of confidence of volunteers (if you are using

them); and

● the effectiveness of workshops or presentations.

Evaluation consists of

setting a goal, collecting

feedback while you work,

gathering information on

your results, and learning.

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Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program

Tips:

Businesses are more likely

to respond positively to an

approach that emphasizes

mutual benefit and

collaboration.

Sharing information on

the issue of falls and the

role that assistive devices

could play in reducing falls,

and offering assistance to

them should they choose to

promote assistive devices is

more likely to be successful

than using an aggressive

“sell” approach.

Tools for Living Well

2. Outcome evaluation looks at whether the program has been

effective or how it has made an impact on your community.

The most effective way to do this is to take a “snapshot” of

the way things are before your program starts (called the

pre-implementation assessment), and then take the same

“snapshot” at the end of the program (post-implementation

evaluation). Comparing the information will tell you whether

changes have occurred during the course of the program.

A few points to remember about the pre-implementation and postimplementation

comparison:

● Noticing that a change took place during the course of the

program does not necessarily mean that the program has

caused the change. Many factors may have contributed

to a change, positive or negative. You want to look for

information to support a connection between the change

and the program. For example, comments from retailers

stating that customers have been coming to them with the

brochures in hand to ask for the devices.

● A negative change does not necessarily mean that the

program has caused damage, or has “failed”. There may

have been other factors that occurred during the same time

frame that influenced these changes. For example, the

number of falls may have increased during the year you ran

the program because of a particularly harsh winter.

● Think carefully about the questions that you want to

ask, and the information that you want to gather preimplementation

and post-implementation so that these

questions can be answered. For example, if your question

is how effective are the brochures at helping consumers

identify the best cane for their needs, sales figures may

not give you that information. A decrease in return rates of

canes might be a better thing to measure.

Two strategies can help evaluate the success of the program: interviews

with business representatives and an environmental scan.


3. Interviews with participating

business representatives

You may want to assess how this program impacts on participating

businesses’ knowledge, views, and capacity to promote assistive

devices. You can also gain valuable feedback on what worked well

and what did not work well. Given their busy schedules, an interview

process is a useful way to get feedback from your businesses.

A sample initial interview for each type of business is included as

Evaluation Tools 1,4, and 7. Sample final interviews for various

types of business, are included as Evaluation Tools 3, 6, and 9.

4. Businesses’ environmental scans

The environmental scan is designed to assess the extent to which

the businesses that participate in this program visibly display the

assistive devices we are targeting. An environmental scan tool has

been developed for each business type. You may wish to do an

environmental scan for every business that participates in the program.

Tips on interviewing:

The following strategies may help you to fine tune your interviewing skills:

Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program

Create a friendly and safe atmosphere by maintaining a non-judgemental and calm appearance.

Probe or ask for clarification when the respondent gives you inadequate, redundant, or irrelevant

information. You can probe by:

● Repeating the question verbatim. If the respondent misheard or misunderstood the question

the fi rst time, hearing the question again will be useful and allow them to answer the question.

Questions should be repeated as a probe the fi rst time the respondent asks for clarifi cation.

● Staying quiet after the respondent appears to have fi nished. This lets the respondent know you

expect more in the answer and gives the respondent time to collect their thoughts.

● Repeating the respondent’s reply. By repeating the respondent’s reply the respondent may

hear that they have only partly answered the question. They will often expand and explain their

answer.

● Asking neutral questions. Neutral questions such as: Anything more? Do you have any other

reasons? How does that work? Could you explain a bit more? Could you give me an example?

● Asking for clarifi cation. Do you mean.... (summarize what you think has been said).

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Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program

Results must always be

interpreted in the context

of the community. Use your

community experts to help

you make sense of the

results.

For participating stores, the scan provides an audit of the different

types of assistive devices that are displayed in the store, how easy

they are to find, and whether relevant brochures are prominently

displayed. A sample environmental scan for retail outlets is found in

Evaluation Tool 2.

For participating homebuilder, the scan provides an audit of whether

bathroom safety devices are displayed in model homes. A sample

environmental scan for model homes is found in Evaluation Tool 8.

For participating hotels/motels/resorts, the scan provides an audit

of whether bathroom safety devices are available in rooms and

whether their availability is clearly indicated on establishment brochures/promotional

materials. A sample environmental scan for

hotels/motels/resorts is found in Evaluation Tool 5.

5. Interpreting results and sharing

your findings

Evaluations are more than numbers. A completed evaluation is

a milestone! Take time to analyze and interpret the information.

Celebrate what you have done well! Look at what you have learned

from the challenges along the way – these “lessons learned” will

help your organization, and others, to more efficiently and effectively

promote the use of assistive devices in future programs and initiatives.

a) Interpreting your results

The questions you asked when you were planning the evaluation

are the starting point for interpreting your results. What does the

information you gathered tell you about the questions you asked?

Tips for completing the environmental scan

● Inform the business when you would like to do the scan and ensure that it will not pose an

inconvenience. Upon arrival, notify the person in authority that you are there.

·● Remind the business representative that the information collected during the scan is confidential

and will in no way be released to the public or anyone else. Emphasize that there will be no

identifying information associated with the scans (e.g., business or personnel names). There are

no “right” or “wrong” responses to the scan.

● Do not interfere with other patrons or business transactions when completing the environmental scan.

Tools for Living Well


“Why” questions are always harder to answer than “what” questions.

Knowing you increased the number of assistive devices sold in the

year of the program is great. However, knowing “why” this has happened

is probably more important. Once you have your results, take

the time to bring a few people together. Discuss each of the questions

you asked when you started the program. This dialogue can help

interpret the results. Several people are usually better than one in providing

insight into what has been happening.

b) Presenting your findings

Too many evaluations sit on a shelf. Wide access to modern

technologies such as computers, video recorders and colour printers

offer many opportunities for creatively presenting your results.

Consider your different audiences and what might be the most

appropriate way of presenting your results to them. In part, how

you present your findings will depend on what your objective is. For

example, you may:

● Prepare a formal report for funders or your organization, as

a way of meeting a deliverable. You will need to show that

you have completed your obligations and you will want to

think creatively about how to use the results so that funders

or your organization will want to continue supporting you.

● Prepare a brief written summary, poster or presentation

for your businesses, CAT members, Program Volunteers,

and funders to celebrate achievements. It might be useful

to have a “thank you” summary list of what has been

accomplished with the program. Present your messages

in ways that highlight improved social, mental and physical

health of older adults. Use pictures or stories to give your

message a personal touch.

● Prepare a brief slide or video presentation for community

stakeholders to reinforce the mobilization process and

reinforce similar future initiatives.

● Prepare a brief abstract to post on websites to help spread

the word and entice others to undertake similar projects in

other communities.

● Prepare a short press release that could interest a journalist

in doing a story about fall prevention or assistive devices.

This could give you a chance to promote your group and

your cause and to attract new members.

Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program

Make sure the results don’t

sit on a shelf. Find a way

to make them known so

people can use them.

How you present the

information from your

evaluation may be limited by

your resources, but should

not be limited by your

imagination.

Tools for Living Well

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Chapter SEVEN - Evaluating your Program

Tips

If you’re considering an evaluation strategy that challenges your resources or skill level, consider

where you might look for help. Your Public Health department may be able to offer some

suggestions. Also, if you have a local community college or university, contact them. They may

have faculty members who teach evaluation in education, social work, law, public health or other

disciplines who are looking for real world projects for their students. There may be a graduate

student who is willing to give you some advice along the way.

Tools for Living Well


References

1. Aminzadeh, F., Edwards, N., Lockett, D., & Nair, R. (2001).

Patterns of bathing, device utilisation and acceptability of

bathroom safety devices among community living older adults.

Technology and Disability, 13 (2), 95-103.

2. Sveistrup, H., Lockett, D., Edwards, N., & Aminzadeh, F. (2004).

Optimal grab bar placement for seniors. BC Injury Prevention

Conference, Richmond, BD, April 9-11. (poster presentation).

3. Tinetti, M.E., Speechley, M. (1989). Prevention of falls among the

elderly. New England Journal of Medicine, 320(16), 1055-1059

4. Raina, P., Dukenshire, S., Chambers, L., Toivonen, D., & Lindsay,

J. (1997). Prevalence, risk factors, and health care utilization for

injuries among Canadian seniors: An analysis of the 1994 National

Population Health Survey (IESOP Research Report No. 15).

Hamilton, ON: McMaster University.

5. Zuckerman, J.D. (1996). Hip fracture. New England Journal of

Medicine, 334(23), 1519-1525.

6. National Osteoporosis foundation.(2001). Disease Statistics.

Retrieved from http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/stats.htm

7. Tinetti, M.E., Mendes de Leon, C.F., Doucette, J.T., Baker,

D.I.(1994). Fear of falling and fall-related efficacy in relationship

to functioning among community-living elders. Journal of

Gerontology, 49(3),M140-7

8. Rawsky, E. (1998). Review of the literature on falls among the

elderly. Image - The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 30(1),47-52.

9. Wilkins, K. (1999). Health care consequences of falls for seniors.

Health Reports,10(4). Statistics Canada, Catalogue 82-003.

10. Asche, C., Gallagher, E., & Cotote, P. (2000). Economic impact

of falls among Canadian Seniors. Unpublished manuscript,

University of Toronto, Department of Health Administration,

Faculty of Medicine

Tools for Living Well

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References

Tools for Living Well

11. Tinetti, M.E., Speechley, M., 7 Ginter, S.F. (1988). Risk factors

for falls among elderly persons living in the community. New

England Journal of Medicine, 320(16), 1055-1059.

12. Berg, W.P., Alessio, Mills, E.M., & Tong, C. (1997). Circumstances

and consequences of falls in independent community-dwelling

older adults. Age and Aging, 26, 261-268.

13. Connell, R.B, & Wolfe, S.L., for the Atlanta FISCIT Group. (1997)

Environmental and Behavioral Circumstances Associated with

falls at home among healthy elderly individuals. Archives Physical

Medicine Rehabilitation, 78, 179-186.

14. Health Canada (2001) Health Canada’s Best Practice Guidelines

for Falls Prevention (2001),Prepared on behalf of the Federal/

Provincial/Territorial Committee of Officials (Seniors) for the

Ministers Responsible for Seniors, http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/seniorsaines/pubs/best_practices/bp_toc_e.htm

15. Merriam Webster On-Line Dictionary, retrieved from http://

www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=tool&x=

15&y=18

16. Dean, E., & Ross., J, 1993 , Relationships among cane fitting,

function and falls. Physical Therapy, 73 (8), 494-500.

17. Papadimitropoulos,E.A., Coyte,P.C., Josse,R.G., Greenwood,C.

E.(1998). Current and projected rates of hip fracture in Canada.

CMAJ Canadian Medical Association Journal,158(7),870-1

18. Conner-Kerr,T. (2002).Forgetting the apple: a hip protector a

day keeps the doctor away. Wandering/Fall Prevention, 8-10

19. Parker, M.J., Gillespie, L.D., Gillespie, W.J. (2002). Hip

protectors for preventing hip fractures in the elderly: The

Cochrane Library, http://www.cochrane.org/cochrane/revabstr/

ab001255.htm

20. Prochaska, J.O., & DiClemente, C.C. (1982).Transtheoretical

therapy toward a more integrative model of change

Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 19(3), 276-287.

21. Rogers EM. Diffusion of innovations. New York: The Free Press;

1995.


Appendix ONE

An Overview of the Tools

for Living Well Pilot Project

with Lessons Learned

Purpose and scope of this overview

The Tools for Living Well Toolkit was developed as part of a

two-year pilot project. The first nine months of the project (April

2002-December 2002) were used to identify key opportunities

and barriers to promoting assistive devices, develop the program

(including the Toolkit and resources), gain entry into pilot

communities and hire Site Coordinators.

The Tools for Living Well program was pilot tested in four

communities across Canada. Implementation began January 2003

and ended January 2004 in all sites, except Pilot Site #4 where

the project was extended until February 2004. As part of the

implementation, it was anticipated that each site would:

● recruit a local Community Advisory Team (CAT) to help

tailor the program to community needs and capacities;

● recruit and train Program Volunteers to help support

businesses;

● recruit and support local businesses willing to participate in

the project; and

● increase community awareness of assistive devices.

In addition, each site underwent a comprehensive evaluation. We

used feedback from the four communities, including evaluation data,

to refine the Program Tools and Toolkit manual.

The purpose of this overview is to provide a synopsis of how

the program was used in the four communities. Specifically, this

overview will:

a) demonstrate the variability in how Tools for Living Well was

implemented in different communities; and

Tools for Living Well

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Tools for Living Well

b) offer suggestions, based on lessons learned, on how this

program may best be implemented in your community.

To begin, we provide you with a brief description of each pilot site.

In addition, we have included brief overviews on how the different

sites mobilized their communities to promote assistive devices.

And, in conclusion we give concrete recommendations for you to

consider as you implement Tools for Living Well in your community.

The Pilot Sites

The socio-demographic profile of the four communities is

summarized in the table below:

Population % over the age

of 65

Primary language Average income

Pilot Site #1 32,531 13% English $21,802

Pilot Site #2 136,000 8% English $27,171

Pilot Site #3 228,052 10.1% French $23,259

Pilot Site #4 904,987 9 % English $32,804

(Data taken from Statistics Canada and municipal web sites)

The Site Coordinators

A part-time coordinator was hired to oversee the program in each

community 1 . A brief description of each coordinator is provided in

the table on the next page:

The four Site Coordinators were brought together for training in

January 2003. Training was interactive, and focused on the content

of the Toolkit. Training subjects included:

● Education on assistive devices and supporting people through

the process of change.

● Skill building to:

o increase community awareness;

o assess community capacity and identify potential community

partners;

1 In site#4, the Site Coordinator position began as part time, had a gap of four

months, and then changed to a full-time position for the last three months.


Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well

Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Site Coordinator

Pilot Site #1 ● experienced occupational therapist

● well connected in the community,

● had a private practice

● was a pre-existing member of the city Chamber of Commerce

Pilot Site #2 ● experienced occupational therapist

● lived in the community for approximately 3 years

● had worked on a casual basis for both the local hospital and home care

programs

Pilot Site #3 ● experienced Francophone public health nurse

● had worked in falls prevention for a number of years in a neighbouring city

● lived in the pilot site region

Pilot Site #4 First Site Coordinator:

● experienced occupational therapist

● lived in the city all of her life

● had a private practice

o recruit and support a CAT and Program Volunteers;

o select, recruit, and support businesses;

o evaluate community process and impacts.

A) Overview of variability of program

implementation in each site

Step 1: Recruiting a CAT

Second Site Coordinator:

● background in nursing, marketing for a medical manufacturing company and

managing seniors’ residential housing (see below)

Community Advisory Team (CAT) members were recruited for each

site. Recruiting the CAT took time and effort. However, the guidance

and input they provided for the local implementations of the program

were invaluable. For example, CAT members helped:

● identify Program Volunteers;

● identify businesses and strategies to approach them;

● helped increase community awareness; and

● were instrumental in ensuring that the momentum for the

promotion of assistive devices was maintained.

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

CAT Members

Tools for Living Well

A general profile of CAT members is provided in the table below.

Note: In pilot site #4, the CAT was recruited early in the project.

However, initial enthusiasm by CAT members waned during the

four-month break in activities. When the new Site Coordinator was

hired, there were challenges in bringing the CAT team together.

The new Site Coordinator met individually with members of the CAT

team before bringing them together as a group. The group met three

times between October 15, 2003 and the project’s end on February

29, 2004. These meetings helped regenerate momentum among the

CAT members.

Pilot Site #1 12 member CAT recruited by March 31, 2003·

The team included representatives from:

● a fall prevention coalition

● Veterans Affairs Canada

● Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

● local Pharmacists’ Association

● Quality Tourism Services (an organization that rates hotels for their level of

services)

● home care

● a seniors day program

Pilot Site #2 6 member CAT recruited by April 30, 2003

The team included representatives from:

● health care for seniors

● Veterans Affairs Canada

● home care

● occupational therapy

● a pharmacy

Pilot Site #3 11 member CAT recruited by April 30, 2003

The team included representatives from:

● a local legion

● home care

● a local pharmacy

● a local seniors centre

● a day hospital

● occupational therapy

● a local hotel


Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

CAT Members

Pilot Site #4 5 member CAT recruited by April 30, 2003

The team included representatives from

● the local health authority

● a local Geriatric program

● a local seniors oriented private business

● a retirement home

● a senior who was active on several local seniors organizations and the city’s

advisory committee on the needs of people with disabilities

Step 2: Recruitment and Training of Program

Volunteers

Program Volunteers were recruited in two of the four sites. In these

two sites, the volunteers were active in approaching and supporting

businesses. A breakdown by site of Program Volunteers is offered in

the table on the next page.

Program Volunteers were trained as a group. Training focused on

● education on the assistive devices; and

● skill building around supporting businesses.

To enhance their professional image, Program Volunteers were

provided with the following:

● Business cards with the name and contact information of

the volunteer, the project logo and the Site Coordinator’s

name and contact information.

● Folders containing brochures and information to share with

interested businesses.

● A portfolio to carry their materials.

Program Volunteers

Pilot Site #1 5 seniors recruited by April 30, 2003

Pilot Site #2 4 seniors recruited by July 31, 2003 (1 senior expressed an interest, but became ill

and had to drop out)

Pilot Site #3 0 (1 senior expressed an interest, but became ill and had to drop out)

Pilot Site #4 0

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Tactics used when Approaching Businesses

Tools for Living Well

In both cities where Program Volunteers were used, the CAT and

the Program Volunteers met as one team once the work with

businesses began.

Step 3: Approaching Businesses

Various approaches were used to select businesses in each

site. These, as well as decisions regarding who would support

businesses, are outlined in the table below.

In all cases, the initial approach to businesses followed a similar

process. The Site Coordinator sent a letter introducing the project

and informing the business that a project representative would be

calling them to set up an appointment. This was followed by an

initial visit to the business by the Program Volunteer or the Site

Coordinator. If the business was interested in participating in the

program, arrangements were made for the Site Coordinator to

conduct an initial interview and environmental scan of the business.

Pilot Site #1 ● Used the priority-setting exercise to select businesses

● Program Volunteers selected the businesses that he or she wished to support

Pilot Site #2 ● Businesses were selected through discussion at the CAT meeting

● Program Volunteers selected the businesses that he or she wished to support

Pilot Site #3 ● Sent a letter to all businesses that might be interested then made a follow-up

phone call

● The Site Coordinator supported all businesses

Pilot Site #4 ● Businesses were chosen based on suggestions from the CAT

● The Site Coordinator supported all businesses


Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Participating Businesses

Pilot Site #1 18 businesses:

● 8 pharmacies

● 1 medical supply store

● 5 hardware or building supply stores

● 1 department store

● 2 hotels

● 1 bed & breakfast

Pilot Site #2 5 businesses:

● 2 pharmacies

● 1 hardware store

● 1 department store

● 1 hotel

Pilot Site #3 11 businesses:

● 7 pharmacies

● 1 department store

● 1 hardware store

● 1 hotel and

● 1 builder *

Pilot Site #4 9 businesses:

● 4 pharmacies and 1 home health care businesses

● 1 department store

● 1 hardware store

● 2 hotels

* The Site Coordinator approached a salesperson at an open house for a new seniors “condo” that was

being built and, with the salesperson’s help, was able to contact the developer. The developer agreed to

be part of the program. After getting information from our Site Coordinator, the builder reinforced all bathtub

and shower walls in the complex to allow for retrofitting of grab bars and offered free grab bar installation to

buyers who requested it. To date, 27% of the condos have been sold with grab bars installed.

Step 4: Recruiting and Supporting Businesses

The level and type of business participation varied in each site. The

table below outlines the businesses that participated in each site.

Most participating businesses had little knowledge of assistive

devices prior to the project. Many became involved because of their

commitment to seniors’ issues, improving customer service and

increasing their market share.

Designated team members offered support through monthly visits.

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Community Awareness Activities

Tools for Living Well

In all cases, support included encouragement, education and

awareness building (through sharing information, brochures, supplier

information and display suggestions) and skill building (e.g. proper

sizing of canes). In addition, in-services were offered to business

staff upon request.

Ongoing: Community Awareness Activities

Community awareness was a priority at each site. Awareness

activities focused on both the issue (falls prevention and the use of

assistive devices to help prevent falls) and the Tools for Living Well

project. In many cases, these activities were useful for recruiting CAT

members and/or Program Volunteers. Awareness raising activities

are identified in the table below.

Pilot Site #1 ● 4 presentations to community and health care groups

● 6 articles in local and seniors newspapers

● health fair *

● displays at participating retail stores

Pilot Site #2 ● 15 presentations to community and health care groups

● 7 articles in local newspapers

● a radio talk show

● 2 cable television interviews

● displays at participating retail stores

Pilot Site #3 ● 6 presentations to community and health care groups

● display at a shopping centre·

● displays at participating retail stores

Pilot Site #4 ● 14 presentations to community and health care groups

● display at a local seniors fair and a seniors skating club

● television news segment

● displays at participating retail stores

* The health fair was held, with permission of the local mall manager, at the local mall. It included

display tables with information, demonstrations, and draw prizes that were obtained from participating

businesses. Five other organizations participated in the event.


Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

B) Recommendations based on

lessons Learned

The pilot projects highlighted some key issues and useful strategies

for implementing and supporting the project in different communities.

We invite you to consider these as you prepare to implement Tools

for Living Well in your community.

1. Tailor the program to the needs and

resources of the community

Every community has different needs, characteristics and resources.

For example, two of our communities had existing fall prevention

coalitions. These communities had more experience and expertise

in the area of falls prevention. As a result, the focus for the

community was building on fall prevention efforts that had already

been undertaken rather than awareness building and education.

The other two communities had no experience in community-based

falls prevention programs. As a result, initial efforts focused on

awareness building.

2. Recruit a diversified CAT

The more diversity in CAT membership, the wider the range of

experiences, contacts and resources. CAT members helped find

Program Volunteers, made introductory calls to businesses and

arranged for presentations to be made to community agencies.

CAT members from the various business sectors also provided

Site Coordinators with guidance on how to best relate to retailers,

hoteliers and homebuilders.

3. Recruit an energetic, organized and

knowledgeable Site Coordinator

In one of the focus groups run with CAT members and volunteers,

the Site Coordinator was described as the “glue” that held the

project together. Skills and characteristics of a Site Coordinator that

were found most valuable include:

● enthusiasm and good people skills;

● good oral and written communication skills;

● knowledge about the issue of falls and assistive devices;

● experience in marketing, advertising, and/or media relations;

● experience in human resources and/or project coordination;

● flexibility to accommodate irregular hours.

● strong organization skills;

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Tools for Living Well

● good knowledge of the community and connections with

businesses and community organizations;

● affiliation with a credible health profession. The

Occupational Therapists and Public Health Nurses in our

pilot sites were viewed as credible and knowledgeable.

4. Involve Program Volunteers in approaching

businesses

Two of our sites made use of Program Volunteers. Two did not.

Advantages to using Program Volunteers include:

● Seniors are often retired. While it is a mistake to assume

that seniors are not busy with a variety of commitments and

activities, they are more likely to have discretionary time

during the peak work-week hours (Monday to Friday day

time), which are the times when you are most likely to be

able to speak to a business manager.

● Seniors have skills developed over a lifetime. They may

have specific business skills. They may have pre-existing

relationships with business owners and may be life-long

customers.

● Seniors will pay more attention to their peer group. Seniors

connect with other seniors as peers and contemporaries.

They may be better able to convince other seniors (more

effectively than could health professionals) that ALL seniors

are susceptible to a fall. In particular, seniors can be

effective spokespeople at displays and community events.

● Program Volunteers can make a point of saying that “I’m

a volunteer. I’m doing this because I believe in it.” They

may use the product themselves, and may therefore

have credibility.

However, supporting seniors can be time consuming. The sites

where seniors were not available and where Site Coordinators

made all contacts with businesses were no more or less

successful. It comes down to a matter of choice and what “fits”

best in your community.

5. Allow for at least a 2-year time period for

implementation

These pilot projects ran over a 1-year period. This year was used

to recruit CAT members, Program Volunteers, and businesses; to

increase community awareness; and to support businesses through

change. Although this time frame allowed us to test the tools and


Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

learn from our experiences, it was not long enough to have an

impact on business sales of assistive devices, assistive device

use by seniors, or on the rate of falls (in particular injurious falls)

in the communities. All 4 sites expressed disappointment when the

program ended, saying that they just had time to establish good

relationships with their businesses and had started to get community

recognition for the project when the implementation phase of the

project formally came to a close. A 2-year time frame for project

implementation would have allowed:

● 1 month for training a Site Coordinator;

● 6 months to recruit the CAT and Program Volunteers;

● 6 months to recruit businesses;

● 10 months to work with the businesses and run community

events to promote the products and the businesses; and,

● 1 month for evaluation.

A 3-year time frame would have provided sufficient time to focus

on retailers (in our experience, the most receptive business group)

in the first 12-18 months while spending time to learn more about

the hotel and homebuilder community. The last year could be spent

concentrating on builders and working with hoteliers.

6. Approach businesses at a convenient time

of the year

Different businesses run on different annual schedules, which need

to be considered. Fall and pre-Christmas is a very busy time for

retailers. Spring and summer is busy for homebuilders. A longer time

frame would allow Site Coordinators to select the time of year that

would work optimally for the different business communities, rather

than time frames that were project-driven

7. Offer businesses the opportunity to

promote their affiliation with the

sponsoring organizations

Businesses appreciated being affiliated with Tools for Living Well,

the CAOT and the University of Ottawa. We offered a small poster

that businesses could display stating that they supported the Tools

for Living Well project. It also highlighted which assistive devices

they were promoting and who to contact to get more information on

assistive devices. For the business, this demonstrated their good will

in the community. For customers, this provided an opportunity to learn

more about assistive devices.

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Appendix ONE - An Overview of the Tools for Living Well Pilot Project with Lessons Learned

Tools for Living Well

Summary

The goal of this Overview is to provide you with a sense of how

Tools for Living Well was implemented in four distinct and varied

communities across Canada. What we hope you take away from this,

is that every community is unique. As such, you will need to tailor

the Tools for Living Well program in consideration of your unique

community needs and capacity. Flexibility and creative problem

solving will help you make the program your own.

Congratulations on your desire to promote assistive devices in your

community. You are embarking on a very important endeavour. We

wish you success as you bring this program to your community.


Appendix TWO

Other Resources That You

Might Find Useful

Health Canada and Veterans Affairs

The Health Canada and Veterans Affairs Falls Prevention Initiative

package has a variety of brochures available on the topic of

Fall Prevention. They are written for seniors, and offer practical

suggestions on preventing falls. They include:

1. You can prevent falls: By improving your health!

2. You can prevent falls: By having a safe home and lifestyle!

3. You can prevent falls: By reducing the risks!

4. You can prevent falls: By involving Your Community!

5. You can prevent falls: By following these Tips!

6. You can prevent falls: It’s a fact!

7. You can prevent falls: Falls Prevention Resources

8. You can prevent falls: The Falls Prevention Initiative

These are available from the Health Canada web site (http://www.

hc-sc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/index_pages/publications_e.htm#injury),

or by contacting Health Canada directly at 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-

622-6232).

Canada Mortgage and Housing

Canada Mortgage and Housing has a variety of resources on

building or renovating accessible homes, and on funding for home

renovations. The home page for the web site is http://www.cmhcschl.gc.ca/en/index.cfm.

Programs that offer funding for home renovations are listed at http://

www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/prfias/index.cfm.

Information on FlexHousing (planning housing that allows for easy

changes to accommodate changing abilities) is found at http://www.

cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/flho/index.cfm.

Tools for Living Well

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Appendix TWO - Other Resources That You Might Find Useful

Poster for

Measuring Canes

This poster was developed

by the Tools for Living Well

program as an easy display for

measuring the correct length

of cares and illustrating correct

cane use. The poster pictured

here is available on a cost

recovery basis by contacting

CAOT at 1-800-434-2268, or

through the otworks.ca website.

Tools for Living Well

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WALKING WITH A CANE

• Always hold the cane on your

strongest side.

• Always move the cane and the

opposite leg together.

• Replace worn rubber tips.

• Attach an ice pick during the winter.

weaker leg

1. Stand with your back facing the poster, arms at your sides.

WALKING UP STAIRS

1. Take the first step up with the

stronger leg.

2. Move the cane to the same step.

3. Move the weaker leg to the

same step.

WALKING DOWN STAIRS

1. Take the first step down with the

cane and the weaker leg.

2. Lower the stronger leg

to that same step.

2. Bend your hands upwards towards the ceiling, palms facing the floor. If you have trouble

bending your wrists, use your wrist watch as a guideline and take the measurement from

the centre of the watch face.

3. Your cane should measure the distance from the floor to where your hand bends at your

wrist or to the centre of the face on your watch. Ex. The person demonstrated on this poster

should have a cane that measures 39 inches long.

Note: You should take the reading from the hand that is on the side of your stronger leg (the

hand that you will hold your cane in).

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Some information was adapted from Cherish

Your Independence, City of Ottawa,

Public Health Branch.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current as of

2004.

TO MEASURE YOUR CANE

Hang 24 inches from the floor

Not medical advice: The information in this

pamphlet is intended for educational purposes

only. It is not and should not be taken as advice

or treatment from a doctor or health care

professional. Never disregard professional

medical or health care advice or delay in

seeking it because of something you have

read in this pamphlet.

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Evaluation Tools

Contents

Evaluation Tool 1: Retailer Initial Interview ......................................................................................... 65

Evaluation Tool 2: Retail Store Environmental Scan ......................................................................... 69

Evaluation Tool 3: Retailer Follow-Up Interview ...................................................................................71

Evaluation Tool 4: Hotelier Initial Interview ......................................................................................... 75

Evaluation Tool 5: Hotel/Motel Environmental Scan ........................................................................... 79

Evaluation Tool 6: Hotelier Follow-up Interview ..................................................................................81

Evaluation Tool 7: Homebuilder Initial Interview ................................................................................. 83

Evaluation Tool 8: Model Home Environmental Scan ..........................................................................87

Evaluation Tool 9: Homebuilder Follow-up Interview .......................................................................... 89

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Evaluation Tools

Tools for Living Well


Evaluation Tools

Evaluation Tool 1: Retailer Initial

Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: _________________________________

Name of store: ___________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Store type (e.g. Pharmacy, home improvement, department, medical specialty) _________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers are older adults (over the age of 60)?

_____ % _____ Don’t know

2. Most of your customers speak:

___ English ___ French ___ Other ___ Don’t know

3. Is your store: ____ A franchise

____ Privately owned and managed

____ Other, please specify___________________________

4. Do you sell the following?

Assistive Device No Yes If yes, are different

options/sizes available

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the

tub/shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

Hip protectors

Comments

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Evaluation Tools Evaluation Tool 1

5. How much do you know about the following?

Check column that best represents stated knowledge of each assistive device.

Assistive Device Know nothing

about it

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip mat for

outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip mat for

inside the tub/

shower

Hip protectors

Have heard of it

but never seen

one

Have seen one

but never used or

demonstrated use

before

Have used or

demonstrated

use before

6. How confident are you that you could help your customer select the right device (features, size,

etc)?

Check column that best represents stated level of confidence for each.

Assistive Device Not at all

confident

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip mat for

outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip mat for

inside the tub/

shower

Hip protectors

Tools for Living Well

A little confident Quite confident Totally confident


Evaluation Tool 1

7. Do you have brochures or information sheets that you can share with your customers on each of the

following?

Assistive Device No Yes Don’t

know

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip mat for

outside the tub

/shower

Non-slip mat for

inside the tub/

shower

Hip protectors

Comments or type of information

available

8. What would be most helpful to your store if you were to increase your promotion of assistive devices?

Please check all that apply.

Assistive

Device

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip

bath mat for

outside the

tub/shower

Non-slip

bath mat for

inside the

tub/shower

Hip

protectors

Information

on what it is

Information on

how to help

clients select

correct one

Information

to share with

customers

Supplier

list

Evaluation Tools

Ideas for

displays

Other ways

we can

support

you?

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Evaluation Tools

Tools for Living Well


Evaluation Tool 2: Retail Store

Environmental Scan

Evaluation Tools

Date:___________________ Assessment: Initial___ Follow-up___

Name of store: _____________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Store type (e.g. Pharmacy, home improvement, department, medical specialty) _________________

PART A

Assistive

Device

Cane

Grab bar

Bath Bench

Non-slip bath

mat for outside

the tub/shower

Non-slip bath

mat for inside

the tub/shower

Hip protectors

Does the

store sell

the device?

If yes, are

different

options/sizes

available?

If yes, were you

able to find the

device without

asking for help?

Are

accessories

sold for

devices, such

as ice picks for

canes?

Are

information

brochures

available for

customers?

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Evaluation Tools

PART B

Please provide comments related to types of devices sold, brochures available, location of device in

store, for support, etc.:

1. Comments related to canes:

2. Comments related to grab bars:

3. Comments related to bath benches:

4. Comments related to non-slip mats for outside the tub/shower:

5. Comments related to non-slip mats for inside the tub/shower:

6. Comments related to hip protectors:

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 2


Evaluation Tools

Evaluation Tool 3: Retailer Follow-

Up Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: __________________________________________

Name of store: ______________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Store type (e.g. Pharmacy, home improvement, department, medical specialty) _________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers are older adults (over the age of 60)?

_____ % ___Don’t know

2. Do you sell the following?

Assistive Device No Yes If yes, are different

options/sizes available?

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

Hip protectors

Comments

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Evaluation Tools

3. Do you think that your knowledge about the following has changed?

Assistive Device Yes No

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat for outside the tub/shower

Non-slip bath mat for inside the tub/shower

Hip protectors

4. Has your confidence about your ability to help your customer select the right device (features, size,

etc) changed?

Assistive Device Yes No

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat for outside the tub/shower

Non-slip bath mat for inside the tub/shower

Hip protectors

5. Do you have brochures or information sheets that you can share with your customers on each of the

following?

Assistive Device No Yes Don’t

know

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

Tools for Living Well

Comments or type of information available

Evaluation Tool 3


Evaluation Tool 3

Evaluation Tools

6. Have you had any comments from your customers on any of the brochures that you have available?

Assistive Device No Yes Don’t know Comments or type of information available

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

7. Have you noticed an increase in sales in the following items?

Assistive Device No Yes Don’t know Comments or type of information available

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

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Evaluation Tools

8. Are there any other comments that you would like to make about the Tools for Living Well program?

Assistive Device No Yes Don’t

know

Cane

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 3

Comments or type of information available


Evaluation Tools

Evaluation Tool 4: Hotelier Initial

Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: ____________________________________________________

Name of business: __________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Business type (e.g. hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, other) _______________________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers that you deal with are older adults (over the age of

60)? _____ % ___Don’t know

2. Most of your customers speak:

___English ___French ___Other ___Don’t know

3. Is your business: ____ A franchise

____ Privately owned and managed

____ Other, please specify___________________________

4. Are the following available in your establishment?

Assistive Device No Yes, in all

rooms

Grab bars in bathtubs

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat for

outside the tub/shower

Non-slip bath mat for

inside the tub/shower

Yes, in certain

rooms or upon

request

Comments

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Evaluation Tools

5. How much do you know about the following?

Check the column that best represents stated knowledge of each assistive device.

Assistive Device Know

nothing

about it

Grab bars

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

Tools for Living Well

Have heard of it

but never seen

one

Have seen one but

never personally used

or demonstrated use

before

Have used or

demonstrated

use before

6. What would be most helpful to your establishment if you were to increase your promotion of assistive

devices?

Please check all that apply.

Assistive

Device

Grab bar

Bath bench or

seat

Non-slip bath

mat for outside

the tub/shower

Non-slip bath

mat for inside

the tub/shower

Information

on device

Information

on where

to obtain or

purchase

Information

on

installation

Information

for

customers

on proper

use

Evaluation Tool 4

Ideas for

promoting

that we

offer these

Other

ways

we can

support

you?


Evaluation Tool 4

7. How many rooms does your establishment have? _____

8. Do you have any rooms designated as fully accessible?

___No ___Yes…if yes, how many? ___ ___Don’t know

Evaluation Tools

9. Have you ever received requests for rooms equipped with the following bath safety devices?

a) Bath grab bars: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

b) Bath benches or seats: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

c) Non-slip mats for inside the tub/shower: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

d) Non-slip mats for outside the tub/shower: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

10. Have you had any reported falls on your premises the past year?

___No

___Yes…if yes, did any of these take place while your client was taking a bath or shower (e.g.

getting in or out of the bathtub, during a shower or bath)

___No ___Yes ___Don’t know

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Evaluation Tools

Tools for Living Well


Evaluation Tool 5: Hotel/Motel

Environmental Scan

Date:___________________ Assessment: Initial___ Follow-up___

Name of business: _________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Business type (e.g. hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, other) ________________________________

PART A

NOTE: ASK TO SEE A STANDARD ROOM

Assistive

Device

Grab bar

(indicate

number

available per

bathtub, as

well)

Bath bench

or seat

Non-slip

bath mat for

outside the

tub/shower

Non-slip

bath mat for

inside the

tub/shower

Available

in

standard

room?

Available

in fully

access

room

only?

Available

upon

request?

Advertised

in

promotional

or guest

services

material?

If available, is device

in safe, working

order? (e.g. if grab

bar, well secured,

if bench, non-slip

tips on feet, if mats,

still provide anti-slip

protection)

Evaluation Tools

Are devices

inspected

on a

regular

basis?

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Evaluation Tools

PART B

Please provide comments related to types of devices sold, brochures available, location of device in

store, for support, etc.:

1. Comments related to grab bars:

2. Comments related to bath benches:

3. Comments related to non-slip mats for inside the tub/shower:

4. Comments related to non-slip mats for outside the tub/shower:

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 5


Evaluation Tools

Evaluation Tool 6: Hotelier Followup

Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: __________________________________________

Name of business: __________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Business type (e.g. hotel, motel, bed and breakfast, other) ________________________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers that you deal with are older adults (over the age of

60)? _____ % ___Don’t know

2. Most of your customers speak:

___English ___French ___Other ___Don’t know

3. How many rooms do you have? _______

4. Do you have any rooms designated as fully accessible?

___No ___Yes…if yes, how many? _______ ___Don’t know

5. Are the following available in your establishment?

Assistive Device No Yes, in all

rooms

Grab bars in bathtubs

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat for

outside the tub/shower

Non-slip bath mat for

inside the tub/shower

Yes, in certain

rooms or upon

request

Comments

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Evaluation Tools

6. Do you think that your knowledge about the following has changed?

Assistive Device Yes No Comments

Grab bar

Bath bench or seat

Non-slip bath mat for

outside the tub /shower

Non-slip bath mat for

inside the tub / shower

7. In the past 6 months, have you received requests for rooms equipped with the following bath safety

devices?

a) Bath grab bars: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

b) Bath benches or seats: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

c) Non-slip mats for inside the bathtub: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

d) Non-slip mats for outside the bathtub: ___Yes ___No ___Don’t know

8. Have you had any reported falls on your premises in the past year?

___No

___Yes…if yes, did any of these take place while your client was taking a bath or

shower (e.g. getting in or out of the bathtub, during a shower or bath)

___No ___Yes ___Don’t know

9. Do you have any other comments about the Tools for Living Well program?

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 6


Evaluation Tool 7: Homebuilder

Initial Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: __________________________________________

Evaluation Tools

Name of business: ____________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Business type (e.g. townhome, single family, condo, other) ________________________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers that you deal with are older adults (over the age of

60)? _____ % ___Don’t know

2. Most of your customers speak:

___ English ___ French ___ Other __Don’t know

3. Is your business: ____ A franchise

____ Privately owned and managed

____ Other, please specify___________________________

4. How much do you know about the following?

Check the column that represents stated knowledge of each assistive device.

Assistive Device Know nothing

about it

Grab bar

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub

/shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub /

shower

Have heard of it

but never seen

one

Have seen

one but never

personally used

or demonstrated

use before

Have used or

demonstrated

use before

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Evaluation Tools

5. Do you currently display the following in model homes?

Assistive Device No Yes, in some Yes, in all Comments

Grab bars in

bathtubs and

showers (please

list how many per

bath area)

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

6. Are bathtub and shower stall areas in your new homes equipped with grab bars?

___ No…go to number 7

___ Yes, if yes….please tell us:

a) Grab bars are:

__ Standard in all of our new homes

__ Standard in some of our new homes …please specify which ones

(i.e. townhomes, single family homes) __________________________

__ Available at the customer’s request

b) On average, how many grab bars are there per tub/shower stall area? ________

7. Do bathtub and shower areas in new homes incorporate, as standard, wall studs or reinforcements

that are designed to accommodate future installation of grab bars?

___No

___Yes, if yes….please tell us:

__ In some but not all new homes … approx. % :_____

__ In all new homes

__ Available at the customer’s request

Comments:

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 7


Evaluation Tool 7

Evaluation Tools

8. What would be most helpful to your establishment if you were to increase your promotion of assistive

devices?

Please check all that apply.

Assistive

Device

Grab bar

Non-slip

bath mat for

outside the

tub/shower

Non-slip

bath mat for

inside the

tub/shower

Information

on device

Information

on where

to obtain or

purchase

Information

on

installation

Information

for

customers

on proper

use

Ideas for

promoting

that we offer

these

Other

ways

we can

support

you?

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Evaluation Tools

Tools for Living Well


Evaluation Tool 8: Model Home

Environmental Scan

Evaluation Tools

Date:___________________ Assessment: Initial___ Follow-up___

Name of business: _____________________________ Location/Address: __________________

Business type (e.g. townhome, single family, condo, other) ________________________________

PART A

NOTE: ASK TO SEE A STANDARD MODEL HOME

Assistive Device Available

in all

bathrooms?

Grab bar (indicate

number available

per bathub and

shower)

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

PART B

Available

in some?

bathrooms?

Advertised in

promotional

materials?

If available, is device in safe,

working order? (e.g. if grab bar,

well secured, if bench, nonslip

tips on feet, if mats, still

provide anti-slip protection)

Please provide comments related to types of devices sold, brochures available, location of device in

store, for support, etc.:

1. Comments related to grab bars:

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Evaluation Tools

2. Comments related to non-slip mats for inside the tub/shower:

3. Comments related to non-slip mats for outside the tub/shower:

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 8


Evaluation Tool 9: Homebuilder

Follow-up Interview

Date:___________________

Name of interview participant: __________________________________________

Evaluation Tools

Name of business: ____________________________ Location/Address: ___________________

Business type (e.g. townhome, single family, condo, other) ________________________________

1. Approximately what percentage of your customers that you deal with are older adults (over the age of

60)? _____ % ___Don’t know.

2. Do you think that your knowledge about the following has changed?

Assistive Device Know nothing

about it

Grab bar

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub

/shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub /

shower

Have heard of it

but never seen

one

Have seen

one but never

personally used

or demonstrated

use before

Have used or

demonstrated

use before

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Evaluation Tools

3. Do you currently display the following in model homes?

Assistive Device No Yes, in some Yes, in all Comments

Grab bars in

bathtubs and

showers(please

list how many per

bath area)

Non-slip bath mat

for outside the tub/

shower

Non-slip bath mat

for inside the tub/

shower

4. Are bathtub and shower stall areas in your new homes equipped with grab bars?

___ No…go to question 5

___ Yes, if yes….please tell us:

a) Grab bars are:

__Standard in all of our new homes

__Standard in some of our new homes …please specify which ones

(i.e. townhomes, single family homes) __________________________

__Available at the customers request

b) On average, how many grab bars per tub / shower stall area?__

5. Do tub and shower areas in new homes incorporate, as standard, wall studs or reinforcements that

are designed to accommodate future installation of grab-bars?

___No…go to question 6

___Yes, if yes….please tell us:

__In some but not all new homes … approx. % :_____

__In all new homes

__Available at the customers request

Comments:

Tools for Living Well

Evaluation Tool 9


Evaluation Tool 9

Evaluation Tools

6. Have you used any of the informational brochures provided by Tools for Living Well with your

customers?

Yes___ No ___

Do you have any comments about the Tools for Living Well brochures?

7. Do you have any other comments that you would like to make about the Tools for Living Well

program?

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Evaluation Tools

Tools for Living Well


Program Tools

Contents

Program Tool 1: Community presentation (on disk) ...................................................................................95

Program Tool 2: Community profile ............................................................................................................99

Program Tool 3: Priority setting exercise .................................................................................................109

Program Tool 4: Strategic planning exercise ........................................................................................... 115

Program Tool 5: Sample introductory letter to businesses ...................................................................... 117

Program Tool 6: Sample script for follow-up call to businesses ............................................................. 119

Program Tool 7: Sample thank you letter for businesses ........................................................................ 121

Program Tool 8: What you should know before you approach homebuilders .........................................123

Program Tool 9: What you should know before you approach hoteliers .................................................125

Program Tool 10: What you should know before you approach retailers ................................................ 127

Program Tool 11: Staged interventions for working with businesses .......................................................129

Program Tool 12: Program Summary ........................................................................................................133

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Program Tools

Tools for Living Well


Program Tool 1: Community

presentation (on disk)

Slide 1 Slide 2

Slide 3 Slide 4

Slide 5 Slide 6

Program Tools

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96

Program Tools Program Tool 1

Slide 7 Slide 8

Slide 9 Slide 10

Slide 11 Slide 12

Tools for Living Well


Program Tool 1

Slide 13 Slide 14

Slide 15

Slide 16

Slide 17 Slide 18

Program Tools

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98

Program Tools

Slide 19

Tools for Living Well

Slide 20

Program Tool 1


Program Tools

Program Tool 2: Community profile

Getting to know your community

It is useful, when beginning any community initiative, to become more familiar with your community.

Even if you already know your community well, this exercise will help you to pull the information

together so that it is available as a database from which your team can work. Completing this form may

involve working through the phone book, making phone calls or talking to people you know. Gathering

information about your community in this way will help you in several ways:

1) It will allow you to touch base with all of the organizations who provide services for seniors so that

you can:

a. Begin increasing awareness around falls prevention and assistive devices.

b. Promote Tools for Living Well and find allies.

c. Recruit volunteers for your Community Advisory Team and Program Volunteers if you plan on

including these in your program.

d. Confirm the services and programs that they are running so that you can establish partnerships

and collaborate.

2) It will give you a data base of information from which you can:

a. Plan your approach to community organizations.

b. Plan your strategy in approaching businesses.

3) It will provide you with information that you will need to tailor the program to your community.

4) If done in collaboration with your team, it can be a good way to begin the process of working together.

In order to organize information that will help you in your program, consider: WHO ARE THE PEOPLE IN

YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD? As a starting point, please consider:

● Are there Fall Prevention Programs that you can link with?

● Can you identify sources of Program Volunteers (if you choose to use volunteers)?

● What senior service clubs or faith communities might you partner with?

● Are there current events that might be opportunities for you to present your program?

● Are there key media people that might be interested in this program?

● What businesses might be interested?

● What are some of the characteristics of your community that will help you when approaching

businesses?

Section A: Community contacts

Making contact with community groups will help you to:

● increase your community’s awareness of falls prevention and the role of assistive devices;

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Program Tools

● find out what falls prevention and other relevant programs are currently offered in your region;

● assess current knowledge and capacity for promoting assistive devices in your community;

● let potential stakeholders know about the Tools for Living Well program;

● identify potential collaborations and ensure that redundancy is minimized;

● identify potential members for your CAT and Program Volunteers;

● obtain information on your community, e.g. number of seniors; and

● identify strategies to working with your community that are mostly likely to be successful.

Community contacts:

Falls prevention program

Falls prevention coalition

Public health unit

Local Veterans Affairs office

Local legions

Senior centers

Retired professional associations

(e.g. teachers, civil servants)

Physical activity programs for

seniors (e.g. walking clubs, Tai

Chi, city programs)

Service Clubs (e.g. Lions Club,

Rotary Club, Probus, Sororities,

Knights of Columbus, Masons,

etc.)

Tools for Living Well

Name of program, organization,

contact information

Program Tool 2

Comments (e.g. relevant

program or activities,

achievements, challenges,

potential CAT members,

potential Program Volunteers)


Program Tool 2

Faith Communities that offer

seniors programs

Fire Department

Local police department

Local service clubs (e.g.

neighbourhood watch)

Health related professional

training programs at Universities

or Colleges in your region (e.g.

Nursing, Occupational Therapy,

Physical Therapy, Community

Health, etc.)

Equipment or relevant service

providers)

Mobility or accessibility advocacy

group

Home care services

Printed Press

Radio

Television

Other contacts

Program Tools

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Program Tools

Other potential sources of information

Most cities will have a web site, and many have some type of economic or sociological report. Try the

section of the city web site that appeals to businesses to move there. Sometimes the public health units,

local health authorities or district health councils will have reports on population and health statistics.

Check their web sites or call them. Your local Chamber of Commerce or city planning department will

probably have some of these statistics available as well. Reviewing these and other websites might be a

quick and easy way of:

● obtaining information on characteristics of your community (e.g. total population);

● identifying profiles of local seniors and veterans in your region (e.g. % seniors, veterans,

average income, source of income); and

● identifying potentially relevant programs or activities.

Websites:

City

Public Health

Chamber of Commerce

Other websites

Tools for Living Well

Website Address Comments (e.g. relevant

information)

Program Tool 2


Program Tool 2

Population statistics

This space allows you to gather statistics about your community that will be useful for:

● educating the community about the need for fall prevention; and

● convincing the retailers that there is a market for the assistive devices that you are

recommending.

Total population

% of population over 65 yrs

% of population 55-64 yrs

% of home ownership

Any local statistics on falls

Other

Other

Other

Section B: Contacts with retailers, hoteliers, and

homebuilders

Program Tools

In this program, we are interested in businesses that might promote bathtub grab bars, non-slip mats,

canes or hip protectors. They may or may not currently promote these items. If you are in a small

city, you may list all of the businesses in each category. In a larger city, you may wish to make the list

somewhat smaller by selecting particular regions of the city where there are seniors complexes, or list

only the chain and its addresses. You will be narrowing this list down when you and your team do the

exercise on “Setting Priorities”. Making contact with these businesses will help you to:

● let local businesses know about the problem of falls and this program Tools for Living Well

● identify potential businesses to target in the program

● become more familiar with current availability of assistive devices in your region

● get a sense of businesses’ current knowledge and capacity for promoting assistive devices

● identify challenges or barriers that will need to be addressed when working with the businesses

in your region to promote assistive devices; and

● identify potential members for your CAT.

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Program Tools

Retail Stores

Hardware stores

Store Location and contact Comments

Bathroom Supply/Plumbing Stores

Store Location and contact Comments

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 2


Program Tool 2

Pharmacy/Drug Stores

Store Location and contact Comments

Medical Supply Stores

Store Location and contact Comments

Program Tools

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Program Tools

Department Stores

Store Location and contact Comments

Hotels/Motels (it might be useful to indicate number of rooms)

Hotel/motel Location and contact Comments

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 2


Program Tool 2

Homebuilders

Company Location and contact Comments

Program Tools

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Program Tools

Tools for Living Well


Program Tool 3: Priority setting

exercise

Instructions:

Step 1:

List all of the potential target businesses in your region broken down into the three business types

targeted in this program.

Step 2:

Rate each business along a 3-point scale on the basis of:

● Ability: Is this business in a position to make the decisions about stock necessary to participate

in the program? Is this business in the position to have an impact on the community? (e.g. In a

neighbourhood with a lot of older residents? In an area that is easy to get to?)

● Inclination: Has this business shown any inclination to support seniors or community programs

in the past? Do they offer senior discounts, or special programs?

● Connection: Do we have a personal connection with anyone at this business? Have any

of your Program Volunteers worked with them, or know them personally? Does anyone on

the Community Advisory team work with them, and can they introduce the program to them

personally before sending in the Program Volunteer?

Rating guide:

Ability: Is this

business in a position

to make the decisions

about stock necessary

to participate in the

program? Is this

business in the position

to have an impact on

the community (e.g. in

a neighbourhood with

a lot of older residents?

In an area that is easy

to get to?)

1 2 3

This business is a

franchise that gives

its local managers no

control over advertising,

or probably unable to

participate for other

reasons.

There may be some

leeway in the decisionmaking

process. This

business could have an

impact on seniors.

Program Tools

The local store has

good control over their

stock and advertising.

They already sell to

seniors so could have

an impact. They are

situated close to a

seniors’ complex.

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Inclination: Has this

business shown any

inclination to support

seniors or community

programs in the past?

Do they offer senior

discounts, or special

programs?

Connection: Do we

have a connection

with anyone at this

business?

Tools for Living Well

1 2 3

The business has not

shown any inclination

to be involved in

community events in

the past.

Nobody on the

committee has any

connection with anyone

in this business.

The business has

shown some inclination

to be community

minded, but not in the

area of seniors.

Someone on the

committee knows the

people who work there

on a casual basis, or

knows people not in

“power” positions who

could at least introduce

us or help identify

the correct person to

approach.

The business has run

programs aimed at

seniors, and supported

senior related causes in

the past.

One of the committee

members has worked

here in the past, is

related to or close

friends with the

manager.

Step 3:

Sum the scores for each business that you rated. The 5 businesses within each business type with the

highest total scores are those that you likely want to target in this program.

Example of priority setting exercise with retailers

Program Tool 3

There is an “Old Time Hardware Store” downtown that has been in business for several years. It remains

a family run business, owned and operated by a family who happens to be well known around town.

Many of the older people in town prefer to shop there rather than the huge box store outside of town

because it is smaller, making it easier to find what they are looking for and offering better service. They

give a 15% discount to seniors every Tuesday. It is downtown, on the bus route, and close to several

apartment buildings that house seniors. One of your Program Volunteers, Joe, went through school with

the present manager, Mr. Family, many years ago, and goes to the same church with his family, although

they are not close friends.

Another business is the “Standard Plumbing Supplies Store”. They are part of a franchise and head

office controls all of their advertising and most of their stock choices. Store management changes every

three years, and is often sent in from other cities. They have not been known to be supporters of city

events in the past. Nobody on your CAT knows the manager.

A third business is the “Average Mall Pharmacy”. They already sell canes and other assistive devices,

though most of these are not related to fall prevention. They give a seniors discount on a regular basis.

Although several of your CAT members are customers, there is no specific connection.


Program Tool 3

Priority Setting Table

Business

Name

Retailers

The Old Time

Hardware

Standard

Plumbing

Supplies

Average Mall

Pharmacy

etc

etc

Program Tools

Ability Inclination Connection TotalScore Comments

3 3 2 8 Tuesday

Seniors

Some contact

2 1 1 4 No contacts

No known

support of local

events

3 3 1 7 Seniors

discounts

Carry assistive

devices

No contacts

Decision:

It would appear, from this exercise, that your best bet would be to target the “Old Time Hardware Store”.

Targeting “Average Mall Pharmacy” would also seem to be worth your efforts. You would likely want to

delay approaching “Standard Plumbing Supplies” until you have successfully created momentum in your

region for this program.

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Program Tools

Priority setting table

Retailers

Business Name Ability Inclination Connection Total Comments

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Mark a check next to the top 5 businesses to be targeted in this program.

Comments that you may want to add include specific contact information or ways in which the business

has successfully supported seniors.

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 3


Program Tool 3

Hotels/motels

Business Name Ability Inclination Connection Total Comments

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Mark a check next to the top 5 businesses to be targeted in this program.

Program Tools

Comments that you may want to add include specific contact information or ways in which the business

has successfully supported seniors.

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Program Tools

Homebuilders

Business Name Ability Inclination Connection Total Comments

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

Mark a check next to the top 5 businesses to be targeted in this program.

Comments that you may want to add include specific contact information or ways in which the business

has successfully supported seniors.

Tools for Living Well


Program Tools

Program Tool 4: Strategic planning

exercise

Instructions

Step 1: List the 5 top rated businesses in each category.

Step 2: For each business, note the strengths from the “Setting Priorities” exercise and other information

that the team knows about the business.

Step 3: Plan on a strategy for each approach. The strategy should outline not only who might be best

suited to approach the business, but also the business case that is most likely to be successful in the

approach.

Example of strategic planning exercise with retailers

The “Old Time Hardware Store”, as we saw earlier, has been identified as a business to target in your

community. They offer senior discounts every Tuesday, are situated close to seniors’ residences, and

one of your volunteers, Joe, knows the owners, at least casually. In addition, Joe used to work in retail,

so appreciates how busy and unpredictable the retail industry can be.

The “Average Mall Pharmacy” is also a priority rated store. They already handle canes and a small

number of other assistive devices not related to fall prevention. None of your team knows the owners,

but they routinely offer senior discounts.

Business Relevant information Strategic Approach

The Old Time

Hardware

Store

Average Mall

Pharmacy

Senior Friendly Tuesdays

Closely situated to seniors

housing

Offer seniors discounts

Carry canes but not bathtub

bars, benches and mats or

hip protectors

No contacts

Emphasis will be on the large market that they

service and the impact it could have on the well-being

of many seniors.

Offer some displays and suggest that you may be

able to staff a display on one of the Senior Tuesdays.

Someone in your group knows the manager, and will

make a phone call introducing you.

The approach will emphasize that there are many

other types of assistive devices that they could carry

to increase their market share.

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Program Tools

Strategic Planning Table

Business Relevant information Strategic Approach

Retailers

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Hotels/motels

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Homebuilders

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 4


Program Tools

Program Tool 5: Sample

introductory letter to businesses

Your Name & Title,

Tools for Living Well

Your Street Address,

Town or City, Province

Postal Code

Contact person

Hotel name

Street Address

Town or City, Province,

Postal Code

Date

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. ____________,

I would like to introduce you to a program that could offer you the prospect of expanding your market by offering

an additional products and/or safety feature to your clients while making a contribution to your community.

______________(sponsoring agency) is operating a new program called “Tools Tools for Living Well”, Well which

aims to create awareness that assistive devices such as bathtub grab bars, non-slip mats and bath

seats and hip protectors are simple and inexpensive tools that can vastly improve the quality of life for

seniors and others by preventing falls or reducing injuries in the event of a fall. Our goal is to support

local businesses to better promote these devices.

We believe that _______________(business type) such as yours could, with minimal effort and cost,

play a significant role in helping to make at least some of the assistive devices identified above more

accessible in your community. We would like to discuss how we can support you in achieving this goal.

A representative of this program will be in touch with you in the next week to set up a brief meeting. This

meeting should take no more than 15 minutes. During this meeting, our representative will explain how

this program can help you and your business. We are not trying to sell you anything! We simply want to

provide you with some information about why these products are important to seniors in our community

and help you where we can to make these more available in your community.

Yours sincerely,

Site Coordinator Signature

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Program Tools Program Tool 5

Tools for Living Well


Program Tools

Program Tool 6: Sample script for

follow-up call to businesses

“Hello. May I speak with the manager please?” (If you know the name, ask for them).

“My name is _____________, and I am part of the Tools for Living Well program in ___________ (name

of town or city). The program, sponsored by ______________ (sponsoring agency) aims to increase the

availability of grab bars in hotels, motels and resorts in our community.

Did you receive our introductory letter that was sent to your by our local coordinator

___________________? (name local coordinator).

(Note: If they did not receive the letter, fax or deliver it to them as soon as possible.)

“I was wondering if I might make an appointment to see you at your office so that I can explain a little bit

more about the program? I’m not trying to sell you anything, I’d like to provide you with some information

about why these products are important to seniors in our community. I just need about 15-30 minutes of

your time, when it’s convenient for you.”

“Would next ______(day and date) be suitable? Or if not, how about ______________ (alternate day and

date)? What time would be best for you?”

“Thanks for your interest in the program. I look forward to seeing you on _____________ (day, date and

time). Goodbye.”

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Program Tools

Tools for Living Well


Program Tools

Program Tool 7: Sample thank you

letter for businesses

Your Name & Title,

Tools for Living Well

Your Street Address,

Town or City, Province

Postal Code

Business name

Street Address

Town or City, Province,

Postal Code

August 13, 2002

Dear Mr./Ms./Mrs. ____________,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with our representative _____________(name) for the Tools for

Living Well program. We truly appreciate your time and hope that you felt the meeting was mutually

beneficial. We hope that you will appreciate the potential benefits that being part of this program can

bring to your business, your customers, and your community. We truly believe that projects such as this

one can help prevent falls and vastly improve the quality of life for seniors.

If you have any questions at all about this program, please feel free to contact me at any time. We look

forward to supporting your business in helping to reduce falls among seniors in our community.

Yours sincerely,

Site Coordinator Signature

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Program Tools

Tools for Living Well


Program Tools

Program Tool 8: What you should

know before you approach

homebuilders

Key message

Assistive devices such as bath and shower grab bars and non-slip mats are important for preventing

falls. Having grab bars and non-slip mats displayed in model homes is a priority. Building supports in

bath and shower walls to accommodate future installation of grab bars and offering grab bars as a

standard amenity for all new homes is helpful.

What might we expect a homebuilder to do?

Homebuilders have the capacity to promote:

● Bath and shower grab bars:

o as a standard fixture in the bathrooms of new homes;

o as a standard display in all model homes; and

o as a feature for future consideration, by ensuring that new homes are built with supports

that will accommodate future installation of grab bars.

● Non-slip bath mats for inside and outside of the bathtub and shower:

o as standard displays in all model homes.

Why should a homebuilder be interested?

● Seniors are a growing segment of the homebuyer market.

● Grab bars and non-slip mats are a relatively small investment:

o grab bars cost between $20 and $80 each (CDN, as of 2004);

o non-slip mats cost between $10 and $40 each (CDN, as of 2004);

o grab bars don’t have to look institutional. They are becoming available in styles and colours

that complement bathroom décor.

● Grab bars are less expensive if built into the home at the time of construction.

● Grab bars can be added at a later date if the wall surrounding the bathtub and shower has been

strengthened or has studs that will support the bar.

● By promoting grab bars and other bath safety devices, homebuilders may:

o expand the market for new homes;

o help to reduced health care costs for the community;

o help to ensure ongoing independence and quality of life for seniors in your community (we

will ALL be seniors one day); and

o become a trend setter among peers.

How can this program help homebuilders?

This program can support homebuilders in their efforts to display bath safety devices and increase

availability of grab bars by:

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Program Tools

● providing information on bathroom safety devices to pass on to staff, prospective homebuyers

and head office;

● possible assistance in staffing a display of a bathtub with grab bars set up in a home show;

offering in-services to staff;

● providing ideas of how they can make small changes to increase customer access to assistive

devices for their homebuyers;

● informing them of community events or public displays where we will be promoting the assistive

devices;

● providing information on manufacturers/wholesalers of assistive devices; and

● listing their business when we publicize those who are participating in our program.

Brochures you may want to share with homebuilders:

● Brochure 1: Seniors are Good for Business!

● Brochure 4: Use grab bars!

● Brochure 6: Non-slip mats in your bathroom!

● Brochure 7: Invest in your independence!

● Brochure 9: Have a safe home and lifestyle!

● Brochure 10: Protect yourself from falls!

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 8


Program Tools

Program Tool 9: What you should

know before you approach

hoteliers

Key message

Assistive devices such as bathroom grab bars, non-slip mats and bath seats are important in preventing

falls. Having grab bars and non-slip mats in every bathroom in hotels, motels and resorts is a priority.

Letting hotel guests know that they can request the use of a bath seat can also be helpful.

What might we expect a hotelier to do?

Hoteliers have the capacity to promote:

● bath and shower grab bars in all guestrooms;

● non-slip mats inside and outside of every bath and shower in all guest rooms; and

● bath seats/benches available for use that are in good repair and well publicized to guests.

Why should a hotelier be interested?

● Seniors are a growing segment of the travelling market.

● Bath safety devices are a relatively small investment and can be attractive:

o grab bars cost between $20 and $80 each (CDN, as of 2004);

o bath mats cost between $10 and $40 each (CDN, as of 2004) ;

o bath seats/benches cost between $40 to $120 each (CDN, as of 2004); and

o grab bars don’t have to look institutional. They are becoming available in styles and colours

that complement bathroom décor.

● By promoting grab bars and other bathroom safety devices, they may:

o expand the market for hotel clientele;

o reduce their customers risk of falling in the bathtub or shower; therefore less chance of

lawsuits arising from falls; and

o increase the chance of attracting senior bus tours and others by advertising safety features

in every bathroom. For example: “We care for your safety. Bathroom grab bars are included

in every room and bath seats are available on request”, can be a key advertising message.

● Help reduced health care costs for the community.

● Help to ensure ongoing independence and quality of life for seniors in your community (we will

ALL grow older!).

● Become a trend setter among peers.

How can this program help hoteliers?

This program can support hoteliers in their efforts to increase availability of safety devices by:

● providing information on bathroom safety devices for customers, staff, head office;

● providing in-services to staff;

● inform them of special events related to assistive devices that might be relevant to their

business;

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Program Tools

● listing their business when we publicize those who are participating in our program;

● providing ideas of how they can make small changes to increase customer access to assistive

devices in their hotel/motel;

● informing them of community events or public displays where we will be promoting the assistive

devices;

● provide information on suppliers of assistive devices; and

● providing brochures on falls safety for travellers that can be shared with guests.

Brochures you may want to share with hoteliers

● Brochure 1: Seniors are Good for Business!

● Brochure 4: Use grab bars!

● Brochure 5: Use a bath seat!

● Brochure 6: Use non-slip mats in your bathroom!

● Brochure 8: Avoid falls while travelling!

● Brochure 9: Have a safe home and lifestyle!

● Brochure 10: Protect yourself from falls!

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 9


Program Tools

Program Tool 10: What you

should know before you approach

retailers

Key message

Assistive devices can reduce older people’s risk of falling and injuries. Devices such as bath and shower

grab bars, non-slip mats, and bath benches, are important in preventing falls. Hip protectors are effective

in preventing hip fractures in the event of a fall. Increasing the availability and promotion of these

devices in “mainstream” stores is a priority.

What might we expect a retailer to do?

● Retailers have the capacity to sell and promote:

o bath or shower grab bars (range from $20-$80 retail CDN, as of 2004);

o non-slip mats for inside and outside of the bathtub or shower (range from $10-$40 retail

CDN, as of 2004);

o canes (range from $10-$80 retail CDN, as of 2004);

o hip protectors (range from $50-$200 retail CDN, as of 2004);

o bath seats/benches or shower stools (range from $40-$120 retail CDN, as of 2004).

● Retailers have the capacity to educate their customers on:

o selecting the right assistive device for their needs;

o sizing the assistive devices; and

o the proper use of assistive devices.

Why should a retailer be interested?

● Seniors are a growing segment of the consumer market.

o Older customers tend to prefer stores that are close to them because of the convenience, ease

of transportation, or physical limitations that affect their ability to travel.

o Older customers prefer to shop at fewer stores.

o Older customers prefer to shop at general or department stores rather than specialty stores

because of the convenience of “one-stop shopping”.

o Seniors find it difficult to shop at specialty stores (medical supply outlets) for assistive

devices for two reasons: 1) limited hours and 2) remote store locations.

● The targeted devices in this program do not require much space to display and may not require

the retailer to carry much inventory. In some cases, they may be able to have a model on

display, and arrange for delivery from their wholesaler in a day or two.

● By promoting grab bars and other bath safety devices, canes, and hip protectors, a store may:

o expand the market for their business;

o help to reduced health care costs for the community;

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Program Tools

o help to ensure ongoing independence and quality of life for seniors in your community (we

will ALL grow older!); and

o become a trend setter among your peers.

How can this program help retailers?

This program can support retailers in their efforts to increase the availability and promotion of bathroom

safety devices, canes, and hip protectors by:

● providing information on assistive devices for their use, for customers, staff and head office;

● informing them of community events or public displays where we will be promoting the assistive

devices;

● providing posters and help with setting up displays for the promotion of assistive devices;

offering in-services to staff;

● providing ideas of how they can make small changes to increase customer access to assistive

devices in their stores;

● listing their business when we publicize those who are participating in our program.

Brochures you may want to share with retailers:

● Brochure 1: Seniors are Good for Business!

● Brochure 2: Use a cane!

● Brochure 3: Wear hip protectors!

● Brochure 4: Use grab bars!

● Brochure 5: Use a bath seat!

● Brochure 6: Use non-slip mats in your bathroom!

● Brochure 7: Invest in your independence!

● Brochure 9: Have a safe home and lifestyle!

● Brochure 10: Protect yourself from falls!

● Brochure 11: Hip protectors suppliers list

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 10


Program Tool 11: Staged

interventions for working with

businesses

Staged interventions for: hotels

Program Tools

Assistive devices: Grab bars, non-slip surfaces in and out of bathtubs and shower stalls, bathseats.

Goals: Universal access to grab bars and non-slip surfaces in all rooms; promotion of bath benches for

all guests.

Stage Discussion points and intervention strategies

Precontemplation or

contemplation

The hotel has none available as

standard equipment in any rooms

and has not considered this as an

option.

Early action

The hotel has some available

on request or available in a

limited number of rooms. Limited

marketing of the devices to clients

in hotel.

● Discuss whether they have had requests or comments from

guests for this type of equipment?

● Discuss whether there have been any recent incidents (past

year) of guests falling in the bathroom?

● Discuss, from a business point of view, what are the

advantages and disadvantages of making bathroom assistive

devices available for clients?

● Discuss, from a business point of view, what are the

advantages and disadvantages of NOT making bathroom

assistive devices available for clients?

● Build awareness of the availability of bathroom assistive

devices, and expectations of the public regarding safety.

● Discuss who would have to make a decision to purchase and

install the equipment for the hotel.

● Suggest that hotel management place reminder in bathrooms

with instructions on how to use grab bars and bathmats safely.

● Suggest providing information for all guests indicating that

bath seats are available on request.

● Offer education to staff on what is available and how they

might suggest it or have to clean it.

● Advertise all safety devices offered and benefits of these for

travelers.

● Suggest that they request feedback from clients on availability

of the bathroom devices.

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Program Tools

Action to maintenance

The hotel has universal access

but needs to be supported to

maintain their participation, or

expand the devices available or

ensure appropriate maintenance

of devices.

Diffusion of innovation

The business would promote

the use beyond its own site with

support.

Tools for Living Well

● Offer updates on community events upcoming & encourage

media releases.

● Continue to distribute brochures.

● Suggest that they request feedback from clients on the

bathroom devices.

● Encourage using the availability of devices as a means of

gaining market niche.

● Include in advertising on web sites or in brochure.

● Encourage “bathtub access” seal of approval award from local

business association.

● Encourage regular maintenance checks (e.g. on list for room

maids to check bathmats).

● Encourage advertising features in their web sites and

brochures.

● Reinforce that they are leaders in their field.

● Offer information that can be sent to the local hotel/motel

association.

● Discuss whether they have considered trying to influence head

office to advertise, promote and expand this innovation.

● Offer information that can be sent to head office.

Staged interventions for: homebuilders and developers

Assistive devices: Grab bars, non-slip surfaces in and out of bathtub and shower stalls.

Goals: Grab bars and non-slip surfaces in model homes; reinforced walls around baths in newly

constructed homes, grab bars as standard optional features in newly constructed homes.

Stage Discussion Points and Intervention Strategies

Precontemplation or

contemplation

The business has none available.

Program Tool 11

● Discuss whether they have had requests or comments from

potential buyers for this type of equipment.

● Build awareness of the availability of bathroom assistive

devices and expectations of the public regarding safety.

● Discuss the pros and cons of:

o having devices displayed in model homes.

o having walls in newly constructed homes to support

future installation of grab bars.

o including grab bars as standard options for new homes.


Program Tool 11

Early action

The business has some

available but could use support

in better marketing and

promoting safe use.

Action to maintenance

The business needs to be

supported to maintain its

participation and to expand their

market and range of devices

offered.

Diffusion of innovation

The business would promote

the use beyond its own site with

support.

Staged Interventions for: retailers

Program Tools

● Suggest that they distribute brochures on grab bars to

customers.

● Offer education to staff on the importance of assistive devices.

● Suggest that they advertise the ways in which they support

grab bars (e.g. advertise that grab bars are a standard option in

new home amenities and that new homes are constructed with

bathroom walls to support future installation of grab bars).

● Offer updates on community events upcoming and give regular

media releases.

● Continue to distribute brochures.

● Encourage using the availability of devices as a means of

gaining market niche.

● Include in advertising on web sites or in brochures.

● Reinforce that they are leaders in their field.

● Offer information that can be sent to the local construction

association.

● Discuss whether they have considered trying to influence head

office to advertise, promote and expand this innovation.

● Offer information that can be sent to head office.

Assistive devices: Bathtub grab bars, non-slip bath mats, bath benches, canes, hip protectors.

Goals: Greater availability, selection, and promotion of assistive devices.

Stage Discussion Points and Intervention Strategies

Precontemplation or

contemplation

The business has none available.

Early action

The business has some available,

but could use support in better

marketing them and promoting

safe use.

● Discuss whether they have had requests or comments from

customers for any of the assistive devices.

● Build awareness of the availability of different assistive devices

and expectations of the public regarding safety.

● Discuss the pros and cons of selling various assitive devices.

● Suggest that they distribute brochures and display posters on

assistive devices to potential customers.

● Offer education to staff on the importance of assistive devices.

● Offer education to staff on how they can help customers to

select the proper device at point of purchase and on proper use.

● Suggest that they advertise the assistive devices that they carry.

● Suggest that they increase the profile of assistive devices that

they carry in their store by displaying them more prominently.

● Suggest that they increase the variability of the devices that

they carry to better meet the needs of different consumers.

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Program Tools

Action to maintenance

The business needs to be

supported to maintain their

participation and to expand their

market and range of devices

offered.

Diffusion of innovation

The business would promote

the use beyond its own site with

support.

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 11

● Offer updates on community events upcoming and give regular

media releases.

● Continue to distribute brochures for customers.

● Encourage using the availability of devices as a means of

gaining market niche – include in advertising on web sites or in

brochures.

● Encourage ongoing in-services to staff on proper selection and

use of assistive devices.

● Reinforce that they are leaders in their field.

● Offer information that can be sent to the local retail associations

(e.g. pharmacists’ association).

● Discuss whether they have considered trying to influence head

office to advertise, promote and expand this innovation.

● Offer information that can be sent to head office.


Program Tools

Program Tool 12: Program Summary

Tools for Living Well: Promoting

the use of assistive devices to

help prevent falls among seniors

and veterans

Background:

Falls are a leading threat to loss of independence among older adults. One in three seniors and

veterans in Canada will experience a fall in a year. Many of these falls will result in injury, hospitalization,

institutionalization, and even death. Assistive devices such as canes and bath safety devices may

reduce an older person’s risk of falling. In the event of a fall, other devices, such as hip protectors, may

reduce a senior’s risk of injury. Despite the potential benefits of assistive devices they are underused.

This may be because they are associated with disability rather than independence, hard to access/

purchase, and/or in some cases difficult to install.

Why are we promoting bathtub/shower grab bars, bath seats & nonslip

mats?

● The 1997 Canadian Hospital Injury Reporting and Prevention Program statistics showed that

almost 50% of falls among seniors and veterans occur in the home. Among falls in bathrooms,

half occur while bathing and over 70% result in an injury.

Why are we promoting canes?

● Canes are often purchased without knowledge of correct size or use.

Why are we promoting hip protectors?

● Hip protectors are a relatively new assistive device and less commonly known by the general

population. Research indicates that they reduce the injury if a fall does occur.

The Tools for Living Well program is designed to:

● increase awareness of, and access to, assistive devices in your community;

● encourage retailers, hoteliers and homebuilders to promote assistive devices in stores, hotels/

motels, and new homes;

● educate seniors and their caregivers to make informed choices about assistive device and to

use them correctly; and

● support a shift in social norms from assistive devices as tools for persons with disabilities to

assistive devices as tools for independent living.

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Program Tools

Locally, Tools for Living Well is supported by

For more information, contact:

Visit the web site at www.otworks.ca and follow the links to Tools for Living Well.

This program was developed with funding provided by the HC/VAC Falls Prevention Initiative, and co-

sponsored by the University of Ottawa and Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists.

Tools for Living Well

Program Tool 12


Brochures

Contents

Brochure 1: Seniors are Good for Business! .....................................................................................137

Brochure 2: Use a cane! ................................................................................................................... 139

Brochure 3: Wear hip protectors! ......................................................................................................141

Brochure 4: Use grab bars! ............................................................................................................... 143

Brochure 5: Use a bath seat! ........................................................................................................... 145

Brochure 6: Use non-slip mats in your bathroom! ............................................................................147

Brochure 7: Invest in your Independence! ........................................................................................ 149

Brochure 8: Avoid falls while travelling! .............................................................................................151

Brochure 9: Have a safe home and lifestyle! .................................................................................... 153

Brochure 10: Protect yourself from falls! ........................................................................................... 155

Brochure 11: Hip Protector Supplier List ............................................................................................157

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Brochures

1: Seniors are Good for Business!

Seniors Are

Good for Business!

Seniors are a large and growing market!

• Seniors are one of the fastest growing

population groups in Canada. In 2000, one out

of every eight people in Canada was 65 or

older. By 2026, it is estimated that one out of

every five people will be a senior. 1

• By 2016 at the latest, Canada will have far

more seniors than children aged 14 and under,

a phenomenon never before recorded. 2

Seniors have disposable income and can

impact on your business!

• Today’s seniors generally have more leisure time

and disposable income than members of other

age groups. 3

• Seniors’ households in Canada spent a total of

$69 billion in 1996. 4

RETAILERS: Seniors are modifying their

homes!

• 89% of seniors want to “age in place”. Many

seniors are modifying their homes to help them

"age in place". 5

• Important opportunities exist for retailers whose

products can help seniors remain in their homes

despite the increasing frailty that develops with age. 6

HOTELIERS: Seniors are traveling more

than ever!

• Tourism is a big winner in an aging population

because older people have the time, money and

desire to travel. 7

• In 1999, seniors made an average of more

than 3 trips per person in Canada. 8

HOMEBUILDERS: Seniors want to live

independently!

• Most seniors live at home as opposed to in an

institution. The latest figures indicate that 92%

of Canadians aged 65 and over live in a

private household. 9

• As they age, many baby boomers are buying their

second and third homes. 10

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL: The Baby

Boomers are aging!

• There are 9.9 million baby-boomers that account

for almost 1/3 of the Canadian population. 11

• Baby-boomers exert a dramatic impact on markets.

The reason is simple: people of the same age tend

to have the same needs at about the same time. You

can benefit from anticipating their needs. 12

Endnotes

1 Statistics Canada (2001, March 13). Population Projections 2000 to 2026.

http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/010313/d010313a.htm

2 Statistics Canada (2001, March 13). Population Projections 2000 to 2026.

http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/010313/d010313a.htm

3 Moschis, G. (1992). Marketing to older consumers. Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.

4 Health Canada. Division of Aging and Seniors. (1999). Canada's Seniors at a Glance.

Poster prepared by the Canadian Council on Social Development. Ottawa.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/seniors-aines/pubs/communicating/audience_e.htm#4.

5 American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) (May 2000). Fixing to Stay: A national

survey of housing and home modification issues. Washington, D.C.: Bayer, A. & Harper, L.

http://research.aarp.org/il/home_mod_1.html.

6 Foot, D. K. & Stoffman, D. (1998). Boom, Bust & Echo 2000. Toronto: Macfarlane,

Walter and Ross.

7 Foot, D. K. & Stoffman, D.(1998). Boom, Bust & Echo 2000. Toronto: Macfarlane,

Walter and Ross.

8 Statistics Canada (1999). A portrait of seniors in Canada (3rd edition). 89-519-XPE.

http://www.statcan.ca/english/ads/89-519-XPE/link.htm

9 Statistics Canada (1999). A portrait of seniors in Canada (3rd edition). 89-519-XPE.

http://www.statcan.ca/english/ads/89-519-XPE/link.htm

10 North County Times (2002, Nov 20). Boomers buying second and third homes.

Baldwin, A. http://www.nctimes.net/news/2002/20021120/51416.html

11 Foot, D. K. & Stoffman, D.(1998). Boom, Bust & Echo 2000. Toronto: Macfarlane,

Walter & Ross.

12 Foot, D. K. & Stoffman, D.(1996). Boom, Bust & Echo. Toronto: Macfarlane,

Walter & Ross.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa and the

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans Affairs

Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent

the official policies of Health Canada, Veterans Affairs

Canada, the University of Ottawa and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this brochure is current as of 2004.

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2: Use a cane!

RECOMMENDED CANE ACCESSORIES

Rubber tip: A rubber tip fits onto the bottom

of the cane to help prevent the cane from

slipping on wet surfaces.

Rubber tips should be replaced when worn.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

Ice pick for canes: An ice pick clamps onto

the bottom of the cane to help prevent the

cane from slipping on snow-covered, slushy

or icy surfaces.

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Ice picks should always be used outdoors

during the winter season.

Use a cane!

Some information was adapted from Cherish Your

Independence, City of Ottawa,

Public Health Branch.

OTHER HELPFUL CANE ACCESSORIES

Protecting yourself from a fall is

important to maintain a healthy

and independent lifestyle. The

following information will help

you learn more about the benefits

of using a cane, and what to

look for when buying one.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association

of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

Cane holder: A cane holder clips onto the

cane so it can hang from the edge of any

table, counter or desk, when not in use.

Cane hand loop: A cane hand loop

wraps around the cane and your hand so

that the cane will not drop to the ground if

your hand lets go.

The information in this bochure is current as of 2004.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A CANE?

Different styles of canes may be found at:

• your local pharmacy

• your local medical supply store

Not medical advice: The information provided in this brochure

is intended for educational purposes only. It is not and should

not be taken as advice or treatment from a doctor or health

care professional. Never disregard professional medical or

health care advice or delay in seeking it because of

something you have read in this brochure.

• select department stores

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

It could happen to you or

someone you love.

For your convenience, phone ahead to be

certain that the cane you are looking for is

available.

Brochures

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140

Brochures

WALKING WITH A CANE

• Always hold the cane on your

strongest side.

WHAT CAN A CANE DO FOR YOU?

• Always move the cane and the

opposite leg together (see figure 2).

• Replace worn rubber tips.

If you feel unsteady on your feet and/or

have a “bad” leg, a cane can provide you

with balance and support. Using a cane

while walking can also give you more

confidence in your abilities, helping you to

enjoy your life and your independence.

• Attach an ice pick during the winter.

Tools for Living Well

CHOOSING A CANE

GOING UP THE STAIRS

1. Take the first step up with your

stronger leg.

Canes come in different handles, lengths

and colours. A comfortable handle will

make the cane more stable in your hand.

2. Move the cane to the same step.

3. Move the weaker leg to the same step.

Because individual needs vary, you may

want to speak to a health care professional

about choosing the best cane for you.

GOING DOWN THE STAIRS

TO MEASURE YOUR CANE

1. Turn the cane upside down and put

the handle on the floor.

2. Stand with your arms at your sides.

3. The rubber tip of the cane should

be at the level of your wrist.

1. Take the first step down with the cane

and the weaker leg.

TO ADJUST YOUR CANE

For wooden canes:

2. Then, lower the stronger leg to that

same step.

1. When your cane is upside down,

mark the cane at the level of your wrist

(see figure 1).

2. Remove the rubber tip.

3. Cut the cane 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) shorter

than where you marked it (to allow for

extra height the rubber tip adds).

4. Replace the rubber tip.

Figure 2

For aluminum canes:

weaker leg

Figure 1

1. Most canes can be easily adjusted

within 2.50 cm (1.0 inch) of the

desired height. To correctly adjust the

height, follow the instructions on how

to measure your cane (see figure 1).


3: Wear hip protectors!

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE HIP

PROTECTORS?

Hip protectors may be found:

• at medical supply stores

• at pharmacies

• on the internet (search: hip protectors)

For your convenience, phone ahead to be

certain that hip protectors are available.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of

Ottawa and the Canadian Association of

Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information about this project please

visit our website at www.otworks.ca.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this brochure is current

as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only.

It is not and should not be taken as advice or

treatment from a doctor or health care professional.

Never disregard professional medical or health care

advice or delay in seeking it because of something

you have read in this brochure.

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

Wear hip protectors!

Protecting yourself from a hip

fracture is important to maintain a

healthy and independent lifestyle.

The following information will

help you learn more about the

benefits of using hip protectors,

and what to look for when

buying a pair.

Think of hip protectors as

hockey pads for the "sport" of life.

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

Many of these falls will result in hip

fracture. It could happen to you or

someone you love.

Brochures

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WHAT ARE HIP PROTECTORS?

Hip protectors are protective equipment

specifically designed to protect your hips

during a fall. Hip protectors are easy to wear

and are available in the form of a belt or

brief (underwear).

Hip Protector

Warning: Hip protectors are effective only if

worn properly. Carefully follow the wearing

instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Hip Protector

Tools for Living Well

Belt

Brief

Research shows that wearing hip protectors

can reduce the risk of hip fracture when

you fall. Wearing hip protectors may

prevent an injury that could lead to the loss

of your independence.

WHEN SHOULD I WEAR HIP

PROTECTORS?

Hip protectors can only help when you are

wearing them. Hip protectors should be worn

whenever possible, indoors and outdoors, as

falls can happen anywhere, any time.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN

CHOOSING A PAIR OF HIP

PROTECTORS:

1) Choose hip protectors that fit comfortably.

Hip protectors are available in various

sizes. Follow the sizing instructions

provided by the manufacturer. If you

are unsure, ask for assistance.

Belt: A hip protector belt can be worn

over or under your clothing. Be sure that it

fits comfortably, whichever way you

choose to wear it.

Brief: Hip protector briefs should fit

comfortably under your clothing.

2) Choose hip protectors that are washable.

Whether a belt or brief style of hip protectors, the

one you choose should be washable. Check the

manufacturers’ instructions before purchase.

VETERANS

Veterans Affairs Canada will help pay for hip

protectors for eligible veterans. A prescription

from your health care provider is necessary (i.e.

occupational therapist, family doctor, etc.). Ask

your health care professional or hip protector

retailer for details.


4: Use grab bars!

HOW TO MEASURE FOR YOUR

WALL MOUNTED GRAB BAR(S):

Tip: Before going to the store, use a stud

locator to measure the distance between

the wall studs.

INSTALLATION TIPS FOR WALL

MOUNTED GRAB BARS:

1) Installation height: The Canadian Standards

Association (CSA) recommends that a wall

mounted grab bar be installed at a height

of 18 to 28cm (7 to11 inches) above the

rim of the bathtub.

Thick lines represent wall

studs that are located behind

your bathroom wall

Bathtub (see figure 3):

1) Back wall: Depending on your needs,

you will require a grab bar that extends

the full or partial length of your bathtub.

Measure accordingly.

2) Faucet wall:

• Horizontal bar: Measure the full

length of the faucet wall; outside stud

to outside stud.

IMPORTANT: Grab bars are safety

supports only when installed properly

and securely.

• Vertical bar: Vertical bars are

installed along a single stud.

2) FOR YOUR SAFETY: If a grab bar is

horizontally mounted, it should have a wall

clearance of approximately 4.5 cm (13/4

inches) from the wall where the grab bar is

mounted. This precaution will ensure that

you won’t catch your arm in the gap

between the wall and the bar.

3) Ceramic: Ceramic tiles may be a concern

when installing grab bars as they can crack

very easily. A professional should be able to

install grab bars in your ceramic tiles without

damaging them.

INSTALLATION

Back wall: Full or partial

length of the bathtub

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of

Ottawa and the Canadian Association of

Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information about this project please

visit our website at www.otworks.ca

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

Portable grab bar:

A portable grab bar can be installed by

carefully following the instructions

provided by the manufacturer.

All graphics were adapted with permission

from the MU Extension, University of Missouri.

Shower stall: Measure the distance

between the studs where you are

planning to install your grab bar.

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A

GRAB BAR?

Regularly check your portable grab bar

to ensure that it is secure and tightly

screwed on to the bathtub rim.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of Health

Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa, and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

To be safe, your grab bar needs to be

securely anchored into the wall studs.

Grab bars can be found at:

• hardware stores

• home improvement stores

• medical supply stores

• department stores

• select pharmacies

Wall mounted grab bar:

We recommend that you hire a

professional to install your wall

mounted grab bar(s).

If you are qualified to install the grab

bar(s) yourself, you should carefully

follow the instructions provided by

the manufacturer.

The information in this brochure is current

as of 2004.

Figure 3

Faucet wall: Vertical and/or horizontal bar

For your convenience, phone ahead to be

certain that the grab bar you are looking for

is available.

Note: Wall stud spacing may vary.

Not medical advice: The information provided in

this brochure is intended for educational purposes

only. It is not and should not be taken as advice or

treatment from a doctor or health care professional.

Never disregard professional medical or health

care advice or delay in seeking it because of

something you have read in this brochure.

Brochures

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THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN

SELECTING YOUR GRAB BAR(S)

Back wall

1) Choose a grab bar that will be safe

for your weight.

A portable grab bar can help you steady

yourself while stepping into and out of the

bathtub.

WHAT IS A GRAB BAR?

A grab bar is an accessory that can be

used in bathtubs and shower stalls to

reduce the risk of falling and injuring

yourself when taking a bath or shower. A

grab bar can be made of stainless steel,

aluminum or plastic, and is available in a

variety of shapes, sizes and colours.

Most grab bars will support the weight

of a person up to 113 kg (250 lbs).

Manufacturers will often list a specific

weight limit on the grab bar packaging.

If your weight exceeds this limit, you

should be able to special order from

your grab bar retailer.

A portable grab bar can be installed on

the bathtub rim with minimal effort and is

removable so you may take it with you

when you travel or move.

WHO SHOULD USE GRAB BARS?

Everyone! People of all ages and abilities can

benefit from using grab bars.

2) Choose a grab bar that is the correct

length for your bath or shower area.

FOR YOUR SAFETY: Portable grab bars are

not designed to support your weight when

sitting into or getting up from the bottom of

the bathtub.

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

WHAT CAN A GRAB BAR

DO FOR YOU?

The distance between the studs in your

bathtub or shower stall wall will determine

the length of grab bar you require. (See

other side for measuring instructions).

Faucet wall

Figure 1

HOW MANY GRAB BARS DO I

NEED AND WHERE SHOULD THEY

BE INSTALLED?

Use grab bars!

If you have a shower stall, one grab bar

installed near the entrance may be sufficient.

(see figure 2)

Using a grab bar can reduce your risk of

falling in the bathtub and shower.

3) Choose a grab bar that feels comfortable

in your hand.

Because individual needs vary, you should

talk to an occupational therapist to

determine specifically where your grab bars

would be most useful. A health care

professional should be able to refer you to

an occupational therapist.

There are two types of grab bars to

choose from: wall mounted and portable.

A wall mounted grab bar can:

For adults, the recommended diameter of

a grab bar is between 3 and 4.5 cm

(11/4 and13/4 inches). We recommend that

you wrap your hand around the different

sizes to find the one that fits in your hand

most comfortably.

• help you steady yourself while stepping

into and out of the bathtub or

shower stall;

Research suggests that two grab bars in a

bathtub are useful for most older adults:

Protecting yourself from a fall is

important to maintain a healthy

and independent lifestyle. The

following information will help

you learn more about the

benefits of using bath and

shower grab bars, and what

to look for when buying and

installing them.

• help you safely lower and raise yourself

into and up from the bottom of the

bathtub.

4) Choose a grab bar with a textured surface.

We recommend that you choose a grab

bar that has a textured non-slip surface –

that is, a surface that has a rough finish

where you are most likely to grab the bar.

A rough finish will provide a better grip

when the bar is wet.

• at least one along the faucet wall

• one along the back wall

(see figure 1)

Figure 2

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

Up to 15% of these falls occur in

the bathroom. It could happen to

you or someone you love.


5: Use a bath seat!

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE BATHTUB

AND SHOWER SEATS?

Bathtub and shower seats may be found at:

• medical supply stores

• home improvement stores

• select department stores

• select pharmacies

For your convenience, phone ahead to be

certain that the seat you are looking for is

available.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association

of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only. It

is not and should not be taken as advice or treatment

from a doctor or health care professional. Never

disregard professional medical or health care advice

or delay in seeking it because of something you have

read in this brochure.

Preventing falls is important to

help maintain a healthy and

independent lifestyle. The

following information will help

you learn more about the

benefits of using a bath seat,

and what to look for when

buying one.

Brochures

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

Use a bath seat!

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

Up to 15% of these falls occur in the

bathroom. It could happen to you or

someone you love.

WHAT CAN A BATH SEAT DO FOR YOU?

A bath seat can help make you more comfortable

and safe while bathing and showering.

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WHO SHOULD USE A BATH SEAT?

We recommend that you use a bath seat if sitting

in the bathtub or standing in the shower is

difficult for you.

Example of a bath/shower seat

Example of a transfer bench with a backrest

(extends over the side of the tub for easier

access into and out of the bathtub)

Note: Bathtub and shower seats may also

be referred to as chairs, benches or stools.

Tools for Living Well

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING

YOUR SELECTION:

1) Choose a seat that is height adjustable.

Adjustable legs will allow you to

customize your seat to a height that is

comfortable and safe. An adjustable

seat will also allow for safe and

comfortable use by others.

2) Choose a seat that will be safe for

your weight.

Most bathtub and shower seats will

support the weight of a person up to

113 kg (250 lbs). Seat manufacturers

will often list a weight limitation on their

packaging. If your weight exceeds this

limit, ask your retailer whether the

manufacturer offers a seat with a higher

limit, as there is usually an alternative

available.

3) Choose a seat with non-skid rubber tips.

Non-skid rubber tips on the feet of the

seat will stick to the bottom of the tub

or shower to keep the seat from sliding.

4) A seat with a backrest may be preferable.

A chair or bench with a backrest will

provide extra support for your back.

5) A seat with a "built-in" holder for

a shower spray may be preferable.

When using a bathtub or shower seat,

a hand-held shower spray is almost a

necessity to direct the water where

needed.


Brochures

6: Use non-slip mats in your bathroom!

WHERE CAN I PURCHASE A

NON-SLIP BATHROOM MAT?

Non-slip mats for the inside and

outside of bathtubs and shower stalls

may be found at:

• department stores

• hardware stores

• home improvement stores

• medical supply stores

• select pharmacies

For your convenience, phone ahead to

be certain that the non-slip mat you are

looking for is available.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association

of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only. It

is not and should not be taken as advice or treatment

from a doctor or health care professional. Never

disregard professional medical or health care advice

or delay in seeking it because of something you have

read in this brochure.

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

Use non-slip mats

in your bathroom!

Protecting yourself from a

fall is important to maintain

a healthy and independent

lifestyle. The following

information will help you

learn more about the

benefits of using non-slip

mats, and what to look for

when buying them.

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

Up to 15% of these falls occur in the

bathroom. It could happen to you or

someone you love.

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WHO SHOULD USE NON-SLIP

BATHROOM MATS?

Everyone! People of all ages and abilities can

benefit from using non-slip mats on the inside

and outside of bathtubs and shower stalls.

WHAT CAN A NON-SLIP BATHROOM

MAT DO FOR YOU?

Non-slip mats placed on the inside and outside of

bathtubs and shower stalls can help prevent slips

and falls by providing traction for your feet when

they are wet.

We recommend that you place a non-slip

mat on the inside and outside of all bathtubs

and shower stalls.

Note: Non-slip mats should be placed on the

inside of bathtubs and shower stalls even if antislip

treads are present.

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN MAKING

YOUR SELECTION:

1. Choose a mat for the inside of bathtubs and

shower stalls that:

• has a textured non-slip surface (top side). A

textured non-slip surface will help keep your feet

from slipping when they are wet.

• has a suction cup backing (underneath side).

Suction cups will stick to the bottom of

bathtubs and shower stalls, preventing the

mat from sliding.

• covers the length (or most of the length) of the

surface on the inside of your bathtubs and

shower stalls. Before going to the store,

measure the length of the inside of your

bathtubs and shower stalls.

2. Choose a mat for the outside of bathtubs

and shower stalls that:

• has a non-slip latex/rubber backing

(underneath side). A non-slip backing will

stick to the bathroom floor, preventing the

mat from sliding.

Tools for Living Well

PRIOR TO USING THE BATHTUB OR

SHOWER, ENSURE THAT YOUR

INSIDE NON-SLIP MAT IS IN PLACE:

Step 1: Run water to moisten the bottom of

the bathtub or shower floor, pressing down to

anchor suction cups.

Step 2: Continue to fill the bathtub or shower.

Step 3: Step carefully onto mat, using grab

bar or bathtub edge.

Step 4: Firmly step in 5–6 places on mat to

ensure it is anchored.

WARNING: A non-slip bathroom mat can

help prevent a fall only if it is properly cared

for. Please follow the instructions we have

provided.

CARING FOR YOUR NON-SLIP

BATHROOM MAT:

Most inside and outside non-slip mats are

machine washable. Check the

manufacturer’s packaging for washing instructions.

Mildew build-up is slippery and dangerous.

To avoid mildew on your inside mat, make

sure that you remove it after every use,

hanging it to dry.

Replace your non-slip mats when the adhesive

backing no longer sticks firmly to the bottom of

the bathtub or shower stall.


7: Invest in your Independence!

(Endnotes)

1. CHIRPP Injury Reports. Injuries associated with falls in seniors. Summary Data for

1997. Computations by Injury Section, Health Surveillance & Epidemiology Division,

CHHD, PPHB, Health Canada.) (Identification of consumer products causing injury

and death to seniors. Final Report Submitted to the Product Safety Bureau, Health

Canada by Valerie Howe, Prospect Consulting, March 1996.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of

Ottawa and the Canadian Association of

Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our

website at www.otworks.ca

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current

as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only. It

is not and should not be taken as advice or treatment

from a doctor or health care professional. Never

disregard professional medical or health care advice

or delay in seeking it because of something you have

read in this brochure.

Brochures

Invest in your

independence!

Funding for Home Modifications

for Seniors and Veterans

Investing in equipment and

modifications for your home to make it

safer may help you to remain living

independently in your home.

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

It could happen to you or

someone you love.

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Nearly half of all injuries among seniors take

place at home. Constructional features of a house

or building such as floors, stairs and steps are

identified more often in an injury than any

household product. 1

If you qualify, the following programs may be of

assistance to you:

CANADA MORTGAGE AND HOUSING

CORPORATION (CMHC)

Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI)

HASI is a financial assistance program for seniors

to help extend the time they can remain living

independently in their homes. As of 2004, for

minor home modifications such as grab bars and

hand rails, the program offers a forgivable loan

up to $3,500.

To find out more information about this program as

well as other financial assistance programs that are

available through CMHC, contact your regional

CMHC office or visit their website at:

http://www.cmhc.ca/en/prfias/index.cfm

VETERANS AFFAIRS CANADA

Aids for Daily Living

Veterans Affairs Canada offers a wide variety of

programs and services to veterans. Aids for

Daily Living is a program that can assist with the

purchase of assistive devices such as canes,

walkers and wheelchairs.

To find out more information about this program as

well as other financial assistance programs that are

available through Veterans Affairs Canada, contact

your local office or visit the VAC website at:

www.vac-acc.gc.ca

Tools for Living Well

SOCIAL CLUBS AND COMMUNITY

ORGANIZATIONS

Financial Aid

Kiwanis, Rotary, Lions Club and the Royal

Canadian Legion are all examples of

social clubs and community organizations

that may offer financial assistance for

purchasing assistive devices.

Equipment Loan Cupboards

Social clubs and community organizations

may run Equipment Loan Cupboards in

your community. Loan Cupboards offer

equipment such as bath seats,

wheelchairs and other items that have

been donated to them.

BANK LOANS

Home improvement loans are available at

most banks. If you do not qualify for funding

under any other program you may qualify for

a loan at your local bank.


8: Avoid falls while travelling!

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

Thank you to the Prince Edward Island Falls

Prevention Initiative for giving us permission to

use their bus tips.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association

of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only.

It is not and should not be taken as advice or

treatment from a doctor or health care professional.

Never disregard professional medical or health care

advice or delay in seeking it because of something

you have read in this brochure.

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

Brochures

Avoid falls

while travelling!

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

It could happen to you or someone

you love.

Tools for Living Well

151


152

Brochures

ACCOMMODATIONS

• Use luggage on wheels and avoid carrying

heavy luggage. Use the services of bellhops

or porters, if available.

• Ask for a room with a bathroom that is

equipped with grab bars and non-slip

bath mats.

• Bring a nightlight with you; moving around in

the dark in an unfamiliar place may result in a

fall. If you do not have a nightlight, leave a

small light on in the room.

• If you have to use stairs,

use the handrail.

• Report any hazards to

building management.

TRAVELING BY BUS

• Make sure you plant your foot firmly in the

centre of the stair and use the handrail for

support. Take the hand offered by the driver or

tour director; they are offering safety!

• If you feel unsafe getting off the bus,

ask for help.

• Remain in your seat while the bus is moving.

If you have to move, ask for assistance.

• In the washroom, make sure you have your

feet firmly planted on the floor when sitting or

standing. Use the grab bar while moving

between sitting and standing position.

Tools for Living Well

TOURING

Clothing and carry bags

• Wear sunglasses to reduce glare on

sunny days.

• Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.

Avoid slip-on shoes and strapless sandals.

If you buy new shoes, “wear them in”

before you leave. Blisters and sore feet will

affect your balance.

• Avoid carrying a purse or shoulder bag to

keep your hands free. Free hands will help

you to maintain your balance. Instead,

consider using a:

~ waist bag for your wallet and valuables.

~ knapsack for carrying your extra sweater,

hat, and purchases. Be sure to wear your

knapsack properly, over both shoulders,

so that the weight you are carrying is

close to your body and better balanced.

BE AWARE AND PREPARED

• Look for uneven ground, rocks or other

obstructions that could cause you to trip

when you are walking.

• If you have problems keeping your

balance, use assistive devices like canes,

walking sticks or walkers. For your safety,

be sure that your assistive devices fit properly.

• If you are unable to walk long distances, it

may be possible to rent a wheelchair or

power scooter at your destination.

Call ahead or ask your travel agent

to check for you.

• Try not to let yourself

get too tired. Physical

exhaustion can lead

to slips and falls.

Enjoy your trip!


Brochures

9: Have a safe home and lifestyle!

OTHER PRECAUTIONS

• Don't try to do tasks that are too

strenuous or potentially dangerous.

Find a volunteer – a friend, a

neighbour, a relative, building

maintenance staff – to help you

with the heavy work.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of

Ottawa and the Canadian Association of

Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information about this project please

visit our website at www.otworks.ca.

• Take care not to trip on your pet

(or your grandchild's toys!) – always

check the floor, the stairs, the

hallway...

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

• Turn the lights on ahead of you

while moving through the house.

Have a safe home

lifestyle!

This brochure was adapted from You Can

Prevent Falls!, a Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

• Take off your reading glasses when

you're not reading.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans

Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

Most falls occur at home –

especially in the kitchen, on

the stairs and in the bathroom.

• Use your cane or walking aid inside

the house if necessary.

Here are some ideas to make

the inside and the outside of

your home a safer place for you.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa, and the Canadian

Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

• Don't rush to the phone: if you have

an answering service, your callers

will leave a message; if not, they

will call back.

The information in this brochure is current

as of 2004.

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

It could happen to you or

someone you love.

Not medical advice: The information provided in

this brochure is intended for educational purposes

only. It is not and should not be taken as advice or

treatment from a doctor or health care professional.

Never disregard professional medical or health

care advice or delay in seeking it because of

something you have read in this brochure.

• Finally, know that you have the right

to be safe. If you notice any hazards

or unsafe conditions, let the proper

authorities know (municipality,

apartment owner, seniors' centre,

store staff). Cracks can be repaired;

public ramps can be installed; traffic

lights can have their timing changed...

Reporting unsafe conditions benefits

you and the entire community!

Tools for Living Well

153


154

Brochures

BATHROOM

• Install grab bars in bathtubs

and shower stalls.

Eliminate throw rugs throughout your

house, or make sure they are secured

to the floor and do not move underfoot.

• Use non-slip mats inside and outside

of your bathtub and shower stall.

KITCHEN

• Install a night-light in the hallway

and bathroom.

Tools for Living Well

• Wipe up moisture or spills immediately.

• Have everything within reach so

that you don't need to climb; if you

must climb, use a stable stepping

stool with a safety rail.

LIVING ROOM

• Wipe up any spills immediately to

prevent slipping.

• Leave generous space to move

safely around furniture.

WHEN GOING OUT

STAIRS

• Make sure electrical cords are out

of the way.

• Take all the time you need – plan

ahead, don't rush.

• Have handrails on both sides of the

stairs and use them.

• Ensure furniture and lamps are

steady and stable.

• Wear footwear to prevent slipping

and avoid using laces that may

come undone.

• Make sure stairs are properly lit with

the maximum wattage recommended

for the outlet.

WALKWAYS AND ENTRYWAYS

• Use your walking aid.

• Don't put things on the stairs.

• Have a sturdy chair in your

entryway to help you put on and

remove your shoes and boots.

• Walk slowly and carefully – watch

for sidewalk cracks, obstacles,

slopes, slippery surfaces and other

hazards.

• Don't carry heavy objects up and

down stairs.

• Keep your steps and walkways

free of ice, snow, newspapers and

wet leaves.

• Don't load yourself down with

packages; take advantage of

home delivery or use a pushcart

(which can also act as a walking aid).

• Take your reading glasses off before

going up and down stairs. If you

wear bifocals, be very careful when

using stairs.

• If necessary, have a handrail

installed along your front walkway.

• Be a defensive walker – watch for

traffic, bicycles and in-line skaters.


10: Protect yourself from falls!

(Endnotes)

1. Health Canada/Veterans Affairs Canada Falls Prevention Initiative. (2002). Help

yourself to assistive devices! http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/seniorsaines/pubs/assistive/assistive4_e.htm

2. O'Loughlin, J.L. et al. 1993. Incidence of and risk factors for falls and injurious falls

among the community-dwelling elderly. American Journal of Epidemiology, 137(3),

342-354.

3. National Osteoporosis foundation. (2001). Disease Statistics.

http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/stats.htm

4. Statistics and trends. Prepared for the Canadian Conference on Injury Prevention

and Control by the Alberta Centre for Injury Control and Research, 2000.

5. Computations by Micheline Charest, Planning and Negotiations Coordinator,

Veterans Affairs Canada. From Table HS7A, Veterans care needs survey, Statistics

Canada, 1997. Cat. no 89-554-XPE.

6. The Hygeia Group. The economic burden of unintentional injury in Canada.

Smartrisk, 1998.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa

and the Canadian Association of Occupational

Therapists (CAOT).

For more information please visit our website at

www.otworks.ca

This pamphlet was adapted from You Can Prevent

Falls!, a Health Canada/Veterans Affairs Canada

Falls Prevention Initiative.

Funding provided by Health Canada/Veterans Affairs

Canada Falls Prevention Initiative.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily

represent the official policies of

Health Canada, Veterans Affairs Canada, the

University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association

of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

The information in this bochure is current as of 2004.

Not medical advice: The information provided in this

brochure is intended for educational purposes only.

It is not and should not be taken as advice or treatment

from a doctor or health care professional. Never

disregard professional medical or health care advice

or delay in seeking it because of something you have

read in this brochure.

Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries

among Canadian seniors.

Brochures

Prevent falls and

maintain your independence:

Protect yourself

from falls!

Nothing to lose, everything to gain!

Assistive devices can have a positive

impact on your mental and physical

health. By living the active, social life

you desire, you remain independent, selfconfident

and positive. Use assistive

devices such as canes and grab bars

with confidence. You’ll become a model

initiative and good sense for others who

are reluctant to enjoy their benefits! 1

1 in 3 seniors fall each year.

It could happen to you or

someone you love.

Tools for Living Well

155


156

Brochures

• Seniors' falls result in a loss of

independence. Seniors are more likely to be

admitted to hospital from an injury as a result

of a fall than any other age group. In fact,

over half (56%) of all admissions due to falls

occurred in persons 65 years of age or over. 2

• One in 5 older adults will die within

12 months of suffering a hip fracture.

Most of those who survive will end up in a

nursing home, using a walking aid, and/or

with restricted abilities. 4

• Seniors who fall are 3 times as likely of

being admitted to a long-term facility

such as a nursing home, than those

who do not fall. 6

• 20% of deaths among seniors related to

injury can be traced back to a fall. 7

NOTE:

FACTS ON FALLS

With a restricted budget, it can be hard to find the

money for exercise classes or home improvements

such as grab bars or assistive devices. Veterans

should contact their nearest Veterans Affairs

Canada District Office to find out about programs

and services they may be eligible to receive that

can improve their well-being and help them to stay

in their home and community. Seniors can contact

the municipality, the local health centre or their local

Seniors' organization to obtain information on

services available at reduced cost or free of charge.

*You can obtain these publications free of charge

by calling 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232)

Tools for Living Well

TIPS TO HELP YOU PREVENT FALLS

To improve your chances of keeping safe and not

falling, use the following list and post in a convenient

spot for frequent checking.

Your Health

• Diet: Eat regular, well-balanced meals.

• Exercise: Be physically active every day - exercise

for strength and balance. Balance exercises,

such as Tai Chi, are very good.

• Medication: Take your medications properly and

look after your health. Consult your pharmacist or

doctor to find out what your medication side

effects are. Review your medications with

your doctor at every visit.

• Vision: Take your reading glasses off when not

reading. If you wear bifocals, be particularly

careful when using stairs. Have your eyes

checked regularly.

Your Home

• Install assistive devices around your home such as

grab bars, non-slip surfaces and railings.

• Keep your home and yard free of hazards;

pathways and steps should be free of ice, snow,

newspapers and leaves.

• Get rid of any throw rugs or make sure they are

secured to the ground with a solid rubber backing.

Your Independence

• Use assistive devices for walking. If you have

hearing aids or glasses, remember to wear them.

Don't forget you need all of your senses for

your balance!

• Plan your outings to allow plenty of time -

never rush.

Your Community

• Keep an eye out for dangers and hazards;

inform the proper officials of any unsafe condition.

TAKE CARE!


11: Hip Protector Supplier List

HIP PROTECTOR SUPPLIER LIST

Characteristics of hip protectors were drawn from supplier information and have not been objectively evaluated by our team.

Contact Information

Suggested

Retail Price

Approx.

Purchase

Price

Hip Protector Brief Belt HARD Shell SOFT Shell

Hip Guard

Anne Kovin, President

Phone: 1-800-299-8892

www.hipguard.net

info@hipguard.net

$59 $105

Hip Guard Belt

Energy Shunting

Hip Guard

Anne Kovin, President

Phone: 1-800-299-8892

www.hipguard.net

info@hipguard.net

$75 $115

SEWN IN


Energy Shunting


Safe Hip

underwear

Regency Medical Supplies

(Burnaby, BC)

Allaster Campbell

1-604-434-1383

www.regencymed.com

Not

Available

$110

SEWN IN


Energy Shunting


Safe Hip

underwear

Help Mates

Karen Brown, President

Phone: 1-888-771-0977

www.hipsaver.ca

kbrown@helpmates.on.ca

N/A

$59.99


Hip Saver

underwear

(Does not

sell to

retailers)

SEWN IN


Energy

Shunting

&

Energy

Absorbing

Information accurate as of October 1, 2003

Brochures

Product and company names are listed in no particular order.

Prices listed are for base models. Please note that many companies offer more than one style…be sure to ask for details!

Tools for Living Well

157


158

Brochures

HIP PROTECTOR SUPPLIER LIST

Characteristics of hip protectors were drawn from supplier information and have not been objectively evaluated by our team.

Contact Information

Suggested

Retail Price

Approx.

Purchase

Price

Hip Protector Brief Belt HARD Shell SOFT Shell

Tools for Living Well

Professional Orthopedic Products

Martin Paul Onrot

Phone: 514-484-4441

martinonrot@sympatico.ca

$65 $95

REMOVABLE


Energy

Shunting

&

Energy

Absorbing

Hip Shield

ERP Group

Maria Di Pasquo

Phone: 1-800-361-3537

www.erp.ca

Not

Available

$110

(Discount

may

apply)

REMOVABLE


Energy Shunting


HIPS

Hip Protection

System

Ladies Item# ERP6672-12 (size small)

-13/14/15 (other sizes)

Men’s Item# ERP6672-02 (size small)

-03/04/05 (other sizes)

Regency Medical Supplies

(Burnaby, BC)

Allaster Campbell

1-604-434-1383

www.regencymed.com

$110 Not

Available

REMOVABLE


Energy Shunting


HIPS

Hip Protection

System

D.R. Médical

1-888-268-0778

www.dr-medical.com

$55.65 $79.50

REMOVABLE


Energy Shunting

&

Energy Absorbing

Pro-Hips

Briefs come in four colours:

white, black, grey & beige

Information accurate as of October 1, 2003

Product and company names are listed in no particular order.

Prices listed are for base models. Please note that many companies offer more than one style…be sure to ask for details!


HIP PROTECTOR SUPPLIER LIST

Characteristics of hip protectors were drawn from supplier information and have not been objectively evaluated by our team.

Contact Information

Suggested

Retail Price

Approx.

Purchase

Price

Hip Protector Brief Belt HARD Shell SOFT Shell

Geriatric Protection Products

Jeff Elstad

1-800-234-8291

www.preventproducts.com

jeffe@preventproducts.com

Not

Available

$55.00

REMOVABLE


Energy

Absorbing

Gerihip brief

Canadian Hospital Specialties

1-905-825-9300

www.chsltd.com

$54.20 $93.50

SEWN IN


Energy

Absorbing

Posey Hipsters

Catalogue #6016 – Standard Brief

Catalogue #6017 – Incontinent Brief

Catalogue #6018 – Male Fly Brief

Invacare Supply Group

1-800-225-4792

www.invacaresg.com

$48.00 Not

Available


(Item #00979)

SEWN IN


Energy Shunting

&

Energy Absorbing

Rite- Fit Hip

Protection

Garment

Impact Body Wear Ltd.

Ellaine Gallagher, President

1-250-474-5535

www.impactbodywear.com

impactbodywear@shaw.ca

$86.75 $115

REMOVABLE


Energy Shunting


Impactwear

Hip Protectors

Information accurate as of October 1, 2003

Brochures

Product and company names are listed in no particular order.

Prices listed are for base models. Please note that many companies offer more than one style…be sure to ask for details!

Tools for Living Well

159


160

Brochures

HIP PROTECTOR SUPPLIER LIST

Characteristics of hip protectors were drawn from supplier information and have not been objectively evaluated by our team.

Contact Information

Suggested

Retail Price

Approx.

Purchase

Price

Hip Protector Briefs Belt HARD Shell SOFT Shell

Tools for Living Well

Impact Body Wear Ltd.

Ellaine Gallagher, President

250-474-5535

www.impactbodywear.com

impactbodywear@shaw.ca

$118

$79.00

SEWN IN

OR

REMOVABLE


Energy

Absorbing


Safety Pants

http://www.raunomo

.fi/index.htm

Does not sell to Canada

HIProtector

1-800-930-9255

www.hipprotector.com

REMOVABLE


Energy

Shunting

KPH Hip

Protector

Cannot be sold in Canada

Phone: +61 2 9477 9768

Fax: +61 2 9477 9105

klockwoo@doh.health.nsw.gov.au

SEWN IN

OR

REMOVABLE


Energy

Shunting


Hornsby

Healthy Hips

Retailer information: Under the Blue Cross Program, Veterans Affairs Canada offers reimbursement, to eligible veterans, up to 2 pairs of hip

protectors per calendar year. To find out if your customer qualifies, call Blue Cross and ask for details.

Assistive Devices to Help Prevent Falls.

A joint venture between the University of Ottawa and the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT).

For more information about this project please contact the CAOT at 613-523-2268 or www.caot.ca

Information accurate as of October 1, 2003

Product and company names are listed in no particular order.

Prices listed are for base models. Please note that many companies offer more than one style…be sure to ask for details!

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