Stay on Your Feet


Stay on Your Feet ("SOYF") is a falls prevention strategy used across Northeastern Ontario to help older adults stay active, independent, and on their feet. SOYF offers a variety of falls prevention resources, free exercise classes in the community, and opportunities for networking, and training.

During the week of November 22 – 26, 2021, SOYF hosted an online seniors’ symposium, Learning and Caring for Yourself During Your Senior Years, to provide older adults, caregivers and service providers the opportunity to learn about local businesses, services and agencies that can support healthy aging and living independently.

This symposium, attended by more than 150 participants, consisted of 18 events over 5 days, including education sessions and panel discussions on topics such as social isolation, physical activity, dementia, technology, and aging at home. For those who were unable to attend sessions, the recordings are now available on the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit YouTube channel. Please feel free to view and share these recordings.

Dr. Mary Pat Sullivan from Nipissing University provided a keynote address on “Organizing our living room chairs: Social connectedness and positive solitude.” This presentation will challenge the popular portrayal of loneliness in later life and explore the value of both social connections and positive solitude in our lives. This recording can be viewed below or on YouTube.


Learning and Caring for Yourself During Your Senior Years was brought to you by:

The Stay on Your Feet Coalition, including: Home Instead, CareLink Advantage & Helpline, West Nipissing Community Health Centre, Nipissing Wellness Ontario Health TeamNorth Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, and many others.

The Village – Canadore College, with funding from the Government of Canada’s New Horizon’s for Seniors Program

Falls Prevention Tips


 Tip #1 - Medication Management / Gestion des médicaments

Falls are not a normal part of aging. They are predictable and can be prevented. Drug interactions around prescription medications and over the counter drugs can cause drowsiness and dizziness, which can lead to a fall.

It is important to keep an updated list of prescription and over-the-counter medications with you at all times. This list should include medication name, amount taken, time to be taken, prescribing physician, and reason for the medication. Try to have all of your prescriptions filled at the same pharmacy, so your records are in one place. This will alert the pharmacist if a newly prescribed drug might cause an interaction with medications you are already on.


Il est possible de prévenir les chutes en vieillissant. De plus, on sait que certains facteurs y contribuent. Par exemple, les interactions entre les médicaments prescrits et ceux en vente libre peuvent causer la somnolence et des étourdissements, ce qui accroît le risque de chute.

Ayez toujours en votre possession la liste des médicaments prescrits et en vente libre que vous prenez, qui indiquent leur nom, la dose, le moment de la journée où vous les prenez, la raison pour laquelle vous les prenez et le nom du médecin qui vous les a prescrits. Procurez‑vous vos médicaments à la même pharmacie afin d’avoir un dossier à un seul endroit. Ainsi, votre pharmacien pourra repérer les interactions possibles entre un médicament nouvellement prescrit et un médicament que vous prenez déjà.

Tip #2 - Nutrition

Nutrition is a key factor that can increase the risk of a fall due to weakness, weight loss and/or inadequate fluid intake. As we age, our sense of thirst declines and therefore need to drink regularly whether we feel thirsty or not. To prevent dehydration, women need 9 cups of fluid each day and men need 12 cups of fluid each day. This could include water, milk, coffee, tea, fruit juice, soups etc.


Il y a un lien direct entre la nutrition et le risque de chute. En effet, si vous vous sentez faible, si vous perdez du poids ou si vous ne buvez pas assez de liquides, votre risque de chute augmentera. En vieillissant, il est plus difficile de se rendre compte qu’on a soif. Vous devez donc boire régulièrement, même si vous n’avez pas soif. Pour prévenir la déshydratation, les femmes doivent boire 9 tasses de liquides par jour et les hommes, 12 tasses. Il peut s’agir d’eau, de lait, de café, de thé, de jus de fruits, de soupes, etc

Tip #3 - Physical Activity / Activité physique

Older adults should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week, in bouts of 10 minutes or more to achieve health benefits. Some health benefits of being active may include improving balance, reducing falls and injuries, staying independent longer and preventing chronic diseases. Aerobic activity, like pushing a lawn mower, taking a dance class, or biking to the store, is continuous movement that makes you feel warm and breathy deeply. Strengthening activity, like lifting weights or yoga, keeps muscles and bones strong and prevent bone loss. It will also improve your balance and posture.


Les aînés devraient faire au moins 150 minutes d’activité aérobique modérée ou vigoureuse par semaine, à coups de 10 minutes ou plus à la fois, pour en ressentir les bienfaits comme un meilleur équilibre, une diminution du risque de chutes et de blessures, une autonomie accrue et la prévention des maladies chroniques. L’activité aérobique, comme tondre la pelouse, suivre un cours de danse ou faire ses courses à vélo, est une activité continue pendant laquelle vous bougez, avez chaud et respirez profondément. Les activités de renforcement, comme soulever des poids ou faire du yoga, maintiennent la force des muscles et des os et préviennent la perte osseuse, en plus d’améliorer l’équilibre et la posture.

Tip #4 - Home Hazards - General / Dangers à la maison - Renseignements généraux

Individuals who have experienced a fall in the past are at greater risk to fall again. The majority of falls occur in or around the home with many contributing environmental factors. It is important that we identify, remove and report hazards in and around homes in order to prevent a fall. Keeping all walkways, ramps and stairs clear of clutter, wet leaves, snow, and ice, ensuring adequate lighting, removing unnecessary carpets and keeping emergency phone numbers beside the telephone are some ways to remove hazards in the home. Be sure to speak with your primary care practitioner if you have had or are concerned about falling.


Les personnes qui ont déjà fait une chute risquent davantage d’en faire une autre. La plupart des chutes se produisent à la maison ou tout près. Plusieurs facteurs environnementaux y contribuent. Il est important de repérer, d’éliminer et de signaler les dangers à la maison et à proximité afin de prévenir les chutes. Dégagez les allées, les rampes et les escaliers, retirez les feuilles mouillées, la neige et la glace, assurez-vous que l’éclairage est adéquat, enlevez les tapis superflus et gardez la liste des numéros de téléphone d’urgence à côté du
téléphone. Si vous avez fait une chute ou si vous avez peur de tomber, parlez-en à votre fournisseur de soins primaires.

Physical Activity 

The best way to reduce your risk of falls is to be physically active. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends that older adults 65 years and older should participate in at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week to achieve health benefits.

Free exercise classes in the community

The Health Unit hosts a variety free exercise classes for older adults to participate in.

Free exercise classes are offered in different locations across the Nipissing and Parry Sound districts. No registration is necessary. See our free exercise class schedule to find a class near you.

Stand Up!

Stand Up! is a free 12-week group exercise program offered twice a week in multiple communities in the Nipissing and Parry Sound districts. The program focuses on building balance, strength, and flexibility among older adults who live independently in the community. Stand Up! also includes education once a week to teach participants about various topics like medication management and choosing safe footwear.

To register for Stand Up! classes, please contact 1-800-563-2808 ext. 5215.

Staying Social

As we age, it is important to keep in touch with family and friends in order to reduce loneliness and feelings of isolation that can lead to depression, as well as mental and physical decline. Staying social can help to build relationships and improve your mental health. Engaging with others in online courses appears to foster a sense of belonging to a group, improve self-esteem, and help address isolation among older adults. Check out Stay on Your Feet’s inventory of social activities for older adults. Click here to download a summary of call in and online social groups for older adults.

Preventing a fall

Did you know that falling is not a normal part of aging? Most falls are due to factors that can be modified through health and lifestyle changes. Stay on Your Feet has nine ways that you can use to help prevent a fall.

Nine Steps to Prevent a Fall:

  1. Be active
  2. Walk tall
  3. Improve your balance
  4. Foot care and safe footwear
  5. Manage your health
  6. Manage your medications
  7. Regularly check your eyesight and hearing
  8. Eat well for life
  9. Identify, remove, and report hazards

Additional resources


Home Safety Checklist

Use this checklist to make your home a safer place to live.

The First Step

How to take your first step to prevent yourself from falling.

What to do if you fall

What to do when you are injured after a fall and how to get up safely from a fall.

The Health Unit has a local SOYF coalition that includes community stakeholders, volunteers, and organizations that work on planning and implementing local activities to decrease the number of falls and fall-related injuries in older adults in the North Bay and Parry Sound districts.

If you or your organization are interested in joining the coalition, please contact Taylor Matson at 705-474-1400 ext. 5215 (North Bay and area classes) or Samantha Docherty 705-746-5801 ext. 3222 (Parry Sound and area classes).



North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)