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Falls Prevention Initiative
Health Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada have established a community-based health promotion initiative to help identify effective "falls prevention" strategies for veterans and their caregivers. Veterans Affairs Canada has committed $10 million over a four-year period to pilot approved projects at the national level and in three regions: Atlantic Canada, British Columbia and Ontario. The pilot has the potential to reach almost 70% of Veterans Affairs Canada's clients and approximately 60% of all Canadian seniors.

The pilots will allow both departments to:

  • improve the independence and quality of life for veterans and seniors residing in selected areas
  • generate new knowledge to improve the effectiveness of health promotion, and
  • contribute to the sustainability of Canada's health care system.
An in-depth description of each project is on file with Provincial Command. Contact Dave Gordon for more information.

The program will have three phases:

  1. Development of an inventory of existing falls programs;
  2. The program will identify best practices in falls prevention;
  3. The evaluation of the intervention programs in Phase II.

Ontario Projects:

The CCAA site "The Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging", UWO, London, the Hamilton-Wentworth Trauma Prevention Program and the Windsor Council on Aging formed a coalition to research a project called "The Southwestern Ontario Initiative to Prevent Falls in Veterans and Their Caregivers". This coalition, along with the Ontario Public Health Association, Toronto, the Betel Bernard Centre for Creative Living, North York and The Northern Educational Centre for Aging and Health, Thunder Bay, comprise the groups from Ontario participating in this research project.

Legion Involvement:
All projects were to involve a cohort of veterans. As Canada's largest organization promoting veterans' issues, the Royal Canadian Legion was a natural partner. Command has had representatives at all Health Canada/VAC Workshops dealing with this project. At its annual meeting, the Provincial Legion Seniors Committee passed a motion recognizing this support. Some Branches, Zones and Districts are active partners in the projects in their areas.

Branches wishing to become an active partner in the research project in their area should contact the area coordinator:

  • Mr. Peter Elson, Executive Director
    Ontario Public Health Association
    Toronto, (416) 367-3313
  • Ms. Andrea Sturk, Director of Programs
    Bernard Betal Centre for Creative Learning
    North York, (416) 225-2112

  • Ms. Nancy Ecclestone, Director
    Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging
    London/Hamilton/Windsor (519) 661-1604

  • Dr. Michael Stones, Professor
    Northern Educational Centre for Aging and Health
    Thunder Bay, (807) 343-2126

The Royal Canadian Legion Ontario Provincial Command
89 Industrial Parkway North, Aurora, Ontario  L4G 4C4
Phone: 905-841-7999     Fax: 905-841-9992
Toll Free: 1-888-207-0939

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