Grant to fund fall-prevention program

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FARMINGTON — The Healthy Community Coalition has received a $10,000 grant from the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention for an injury-prevention program. The effort is aimed at addressing unintended injuries due to falls in those over the age of 65.

This program will serve Franklin County and a western district, which includes Androscoggin and Oxford counties.

“Falls are the leading cause of death and unintentional injury in older Mainers, significantly impacting their quality of life and independence,” Sherra Osgood, HCC program coordinator, said. “Fortunately, falls and fall-related injuries in those over age 65 can be prevented, thus maximizing their independence and quality of life.”

HCC will use several methods to implement the injury prevention program including: putting fall prevention materials within physician practices and existing outreach programs; coordinating a fitness challenge for people 65 and older through the Heartime program and the Franklin Community Health Network volunteer program; and an educational campaign that will include footage of injury prevention exercises on public access TV stations.

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“A particular focus will be on the National Institute on Aging Go4Life program and raising awareness of a home safety checklist,” Osgood said.

Partners in the program include SeniorsPlus, HealthReach Federally Qualified Health Centers, Franklin Health physician practices, the NorthStar Emergency Medical Services House Calls program, the University of Maine at Farmington Health Fitness and Recreation Center’s Heartime program, and the FCHN volunteer program.

For more information, contact Osgood at the Healthy Community Coalition at 779-2933 or sosgood@fchn.org.

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