Brittlestar and His Mom

In summer 2020, in Canada as elsewhere in the world, people were encouraged to “stay home” to lessen the spread of COVID-19. Seniors, who are particularly vulnerable to the virus’s effects, were especially cautioned to stick close to home. Those who lived in seniors’ apartment buildings were not allowed to leave their units or the property as residence staff delivered groceries, mail and other supplies to their door. No-one outside staff wearing PPE were allowed in the building.

This isolation to stay healthy, however, was begetting another problem: How to keep seniors who were isolating due to COVID-19 transmission concerns active at home so that their balance and strength did not decline, leading to further risk of injurious falls. In Canada, Falls are the No. 1 reason for injury-related death, hospitalization and emergency department visits for older adults in Canada. Falls among older adults cost $5.6 billion Cdn in 2018 – nearly 20 per cent of the total cost of injury in Canada.

Normally, our charity focused on senior fall prevention messaging during Fall Prevention Month, which happens in Canada in November. But this was an urgent message that needed to get out earlier, in summer 2020, to address the potential of seniors’ strength and balance atrophying – and increasing fall risk – as they lost the opportunity to walk and get movement outside the confines of their home or residence.

We launched the campaign with Brittlestar in summer 2020 and then re-shared the video via boosted posts during the fall 2020 Fall Prevention Month, as seniors continued to isolate to avoid COVID-19.

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