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The UpStanding Citizens Campaign

A campaign that promotes taking action to prevent falls by broadening public awareness and connecting people to information.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

The UpStanding Citizens Campaign is a public awareness and education campaign focused on the urgent public health issue of falls in older adults in the US. It is designed to broaden awareness, educate and to move people towards taking action. The campaign targets a broad audience in the hope that action will be taken for self care and also to help others - family members and members of one’s community. The goal is to enable older adults to live actively and to age with grace.

The UpStanding Citizens Campaign

How does the campaign work?

Messaging on postcards will provide facts on risk and prevention.  They will also suggest action.  Messaging will also include information on the role of family caregivers bringing awareness of this role and creating empathy.

Cards will connect readers to information and resources, shared via social media and website.   Examples of information and resources that can be shared - One, Two, Three , walking clubs, advocacy opportunities such as Cane Day etc. 

The campaign may correspond with "Older Americans Month."

Postcard Sharing:  t sites associated in some way with fall prevention activities or services, plus other community gathering spots.

  • Shoe stores - to be given with each purchase
  • Optician shops - to be given with each purchase
  • Gyms/YMCA
  • Pharmacies
  • Cafes
  • Senior Centers

Campaign Target Groups

  • Children of older adults
  • Grandchildren of older adults
  • Caregivers - Average age of caregivers is 49.  25% of caregivers are millennials.
  • Older Adults - Age 65+
  • Neighbors of older adults
  • Community members from organizations that older adults might belong to.  


Sharing facts and suggesting action.

  • What are the best ways to engage with and capture a broad audience?
  • What role might humor play?                                                                                 

sample card - front and back

Why take this approach?

This idea was generated during a conversation with an active adult in her 80s.    She has not been given a fall prevention checklist at medical appointments in the past.  She recalled receiving a written questionnaire at one medical visit which addressed the home environment.  Was there clutter on the floor?  Did the house have throw rugs?  The purpose of this questionnaire was not discussed.  Fall prevention tools and programs were never specifically discussed at medical visits.  I explained to her what these questions were addressing and what a fall prevention checklist is.  I said I wonder how we might broaden awareness and get information out to the general public since it was not necessarily being shared at medical encounters.  She responded: "They should give out an information sheet at shoe stores when you are buying shoes.  Seems like a good opportunity."  Sounded like she was on to something as this is about staying on one's feet and aging gracefully.

We brainstormed.  An information sheet in the bag?  Information printed on the shoe box?  Who might sponsor this, a brand looking for a social cause to get behind? 


There are fall prevention materials available, risk factor assessment tools, home environmental checklists and suggested exercise programs are examples.  Is  information reaching older adults?  If yes, are they always able to take action on their own?  Might broadening awareness help to increase individual prevention interventions?

With awareness and education might faith based and other community groups be nudged towards actions, forming teams to assist older members assess for home hazards and helping to facilitate needed home improvements?  Might a toolkit help this effort?

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Create a few message postcards with a link to a FB page. Post information and link resources from reputable sources to the FB page. Distribute the cards to a diverse group of people. Follow on FB to see if people visit for further information. Get feedback on the idea while distributing the cards.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

What do you think about this approach? Help to design the postcards. Help with messaging. Will messaging need to differ for different target groups? Input and suggestions for partnerships.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a pediatrician with experience in clinical care, medical education, and administration, working primarily in under resourced urban communities. I am enthusiastic about HCD! I have been a community mentor on OpenIDEO and am a mentor for the Design For America, NYU Student Club.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Bettina!

Thank you for submitting this. What an interesting idea!

I am not sure if this would work State-side, but people like to send comedy cards here (well my friends and family) e.g.

Maybe there could be option for people to personalise the card with their own drawing e.g. that of a nephew for a postcard for grandad or grandma.

I am wondering if pharmacies might be a good location for these postcards for people who are waiting around for prescriptions, perhaps coffee shops

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Kate.
I love the idea of humor as a way to engage. Thanks for sharing these examples. (I am from a card loving family too!) Personalizing the card also sounds like an idea to explore. Anyway to get a wide audience involved would be great!

I am updating the idea with pharmacies and cafes. Both great ideas.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Hi Bettina, I really like this idea and I'm glad you eventually posted it (I remember your mentioning it at one point offline). I like the simplicity of the idea and the design. I also think it would be nice to connect it with other ideas like Cane Day which with their intergenerational aspect could lead to broadening the conversations but also having people asking their loved ones about some of these issues. I also wonder if there could be a way to connect it to the Super Grandma idea by Tuba Naziruddin and her team: Several persons including you :-) suggested adding a checklist or some information at the end. Why not a post card? You could also imagine that if there were a series on different topics, you could have different cards depending on the topics of the books.

Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Hi Anne-Laure. Thanks for the feedback and great ideas!
I would like to connect it to advocacy opportunities, like Cane Day, by using the cards to get the word out that they are happening. (I had mentioned this in the post above.) I like your idea of using the cards at the event. I wonder if they might become part of an entrants badge worn on the event day? It could be an opportune time to call people to action with prompts on these cards. I can mention this to the Cane Day team.

I love the idea of including a postcard, or two, in Tuba's book. Why 2 cards? One for the parents - I imagine this might be stuck on the refrigerator as a resource, or just used as a connector to get online for resources. The other card could be for the child. Kate suggested that the card might be personalized by a child. This might be an opportunity to do that. There are lots of possibilities. Will share the thought with Tuba. Thanks!