The Ponca Tribal Headquarters are located within the unincorporated village of White Eagle (population 480) which is 5 miles south of Ponca City in rural north central Oklahoma. The Tribe operates the White Eagle Health Center where the TIPCAP Project Coordinator will work.
The Ponca Tribe has 3,800 members with 3,000 members living within the service area, which is part of Kay and Noble Counties in OK. The user population is 3,363. There are 746 Ponca Tribal elders age 55 and up.
The injury problem is unintentional falls which affects people age 65 and older. According to the CDC Compendium of Effective Fall Interventions, 1/3 of people aged 65 and up fall each year, and those who fall are 2-3 times more likely to fall again. Among the over 65 age group, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non- fatal injuries.
People 55 and over will be served because of our community needs. There is a high rate of diabetes complications (amputees, vision impairment, etc.) and a high rate of persons on multiple medications from several different physicians which puts them at high risk of falling from drug-drug interactions.
The long-term goal of the project is to reduce injuries and death due to older adult falls. The objective for years 1 and 2 will be to decrease falls reported in adults age 55 and older by 10 percent (from 91 to 82) in the Ponca Tribal community. By the end of the project (year 5), there will be a 20 percent decrease in the number (from 91 to 73) of unintentional falls in adults ages 55 and up at the Ponca Tribal community. Objectives for years 3-5 will be developed after the program begins.
A TIPCAP Coordinator will be hired. Assessment tests will be given before and after a 10 week exercise class. These assessments will determine the risk of falling. The classes will be 2 days a week and 2 sessions will be offered per year. Bingocize, an evidence based exercise program, combines a bingo-like game with exercise and health education. The overall goals of the program are to help older adults improve and/or maintain mobility and independence, learn and use health information focused on falls reduction and other health-related behaviors, and socially engage with other older adults.
A safe environment will be provided by reducing environmental hazards. An initial home assessment will be performed with an initial fall risk questionnaire, which will provide the necessary baseline information. Home modifications will be provided as needed. These will include grab bars, night lights, non-skid tub mats, shower chairs, flashlights, elevated toilet seats, ice melt, handheld shower heads, outside solar motion lights, and non-skid rugs. Modifications will be done by the Ponca Tribe housing staff, Ponca Tribal employee volunteers, and a contractor, when necessary. Handicap ramps will be built by Conoco retiree volunteers if a need for a ramp is determined by the Coordinator. They will be painted and an anti-skid treatment will be added to prevent slips.
Clients will be referred to optometry for vision checks and will be encouraged to have all medications reviewed by a medical provider to prevent interactions that could cause falls. Participants will receive educational materials about fall prevention and healthy aging.
Total Cost for year 1 will be $125,000.