Spotlight on Innovations and Achievements: Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas Educates the Community on Fall Prevention
Learn how a AAA reduced the prevalence of falls among older adults in its community through a variety of activities, including a fall prevention comedy, community provider symposiums and a pilot program at assisted living facilities.
We're proud to highlight the award-winning work of the 2019 winners of n4a's Aging Innovations and Achievement Awards in this weekly spotlight feature. This week, we are focusing on Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, Inc.'s Better Living For Seniors Pinellas: Fall Prevention Coalition program. The agency was a 2019 Aging Achievement Award winner in the Healthy Aging category.
Today is the last day to nominate your AAA's program for a 2020 AIA Award! Read our nominations process guide and consider submitting some of your programs for this year's awards before tonight's midnight deadline!
Better Living for Seniors Pinellas (an Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas initiative to engage local aging business partners) drives community-wide initiatives to reduce the prevalence of falls through a Fall Prevention Coalition. Coalition initiatives include Denying Gravity, an innovative fall prevention comedy put on by a local volunteer senior acting troupe and local fire departments, a series of quarterly community provider symposiums, and a pilot program at two assisted living facilities to reduce unnecessary calls to EMS for falls assistance.
The Fall Prevention Coalition program helped decrease unnecessary 911 calls at two local assisted living facilities by 12 percent in its first year. The program has also reached more than 1,700 local older adults through the Denying Gravity fall prevention comedy. Additionally, the program has strengthened partnerships between nonprofits serving older adults and local EMS/fire departments, helping to ensure everyone is sharing the same messages within the community.
Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas notes that after every showing of Denying Gravity in the community, older adults share how funny and educational they found the play. The blend of humor with information on the connection between falls and health outcomes makes the show one people look forward to attending and helps attendees take away the message to assess their homes for fall risk, so they don't find themselves encountering an accidental fall—a win for the community.
For AAAs interested in developing a similar program, the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas recommends starting off by building a coalition of committed partners from the nonprofit, for-profit and government sectors. The program is successful because of a wide variety of partners from a variety of industries and sectors that understand the need to address the issues faced by older adults within the community, with fall prevention and fall risk being a key issue.
To learn more about Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas' Better Living For Seniors Pinellas: Fall Prevention Coalition program, contact Ann Marie Winter, Executive Director, at Annmarie.Winter@aaapp.org.
For more information about the 2019 winners, read our press release and check out our book of winners to learn how your agency can implement this or similar programs in your community! You can also listen to our four-part webinar series, n4a Lunchtime Innovations, to hear your peers' secrets to success for these award-winning programs.