Seniors in the Region of Peel, now have a deeper understanding and greater awareness of how to reduce the risk of personal injury, prevent premature death and avoid fraud or abusive situations with the help of the ‘Seniors Safety Education and Empowerment Program’, developed by the Adult Injury Prevention Network (AIPN). With support from the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, this project educated large populations of seniors, their families and caregivers on steps they can take to reduce the risk of these common problems through workshops and an educational DVD.
The DVD features scenarios acted out by seniors and experts, and includes information for preventing financial abuse, falls, fires, burns, first aid information, and tips for moving in with family.
Cecilia Peters, one of the project participants, said that she often “heard of people who had been injured by accidents like these and run across a few people who had seen the DVD and they said that this message needs to get out there”.
Nearly 100 seniors were involved with the planning, production and distribution of the DVD so that it would be a relevant, meaningful and useful tool for other seniors. Through workshops, the seniors were able to share, socialize, and learn how to be safe and healthy.
Project coordinator Dianne Rende said that during the filming of the DVD, the seniors were the “‘stars’ that acted out each of the scenarios. After the DVD was finished, they assisted us with distribution by networking within their communities to find locations that would use the DVD for the benefit of other seniors”.
“By engaging seniors to become part of the leadership team for this project and to have them ‘star’ in the educational DVD, we hoped to reach larger numbers of seniors who may have mobility issues and would not be able to attend seminars or workshops” added Rende.
“Seniors who were involved in creating the DVD found the experience to be exciting and some commented that they appreciated the opportunity to stretch their comfort zone and learn something new” said Rende.
Some seniors also commented on how they appreciated the opportunity to work with new people and make new friends.
Cecilia Peters said she “loved the people, very amiable and really helpful, very patient about everything and liked the message. When speaking to people, I discovered the DVD would be very valuable”.
Thanks to the project and the seniors involved, over 900 copies of the DVD have been distributed to seniors groups and agencies. The DVD also has closed captioning for the hearing impaired, and the “messages are delivered in such a way that barriers to learning, such as language, visual or hearing impairments were considered, increasing its ability to be delivered to more seniors in our community”, added Rende.
The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal Grants and Contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and in their communities.