Strength and balance are a new catch cry in a redoubled war on debilitating falls.
ACC is joining forces with other agencies in the community to reduce the one in three people aged more than 65 who injure themselves in avoidable falls. The number increases to one in two among those older than 75.
Many of these falls lead to broken bones, head injuries, fractured hips and other horrors that some never fully recover from. Some even die. The costs in human and financial terms does not bear thinking about.
ACC has partnered with the Ministry of Health, the Health Quality and Safety Commission and DHB’s nationally to collectively develop, design and monitor new models of care. Working with innovative local partners Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, Sport Taranaki and the Taranaki District Health Board, they have launched an intensive campaign to encourage particularly older residents to join groups who are using exercise to improve balance and strength.
Positive Ageing New Plymouth is a supporter of this team and is holding a seminar to help get the prevention message across to be held in the New Plymouth District Council’s debating chamber at 10am, Saturday, February 17.
It will also preview the strength and balance expo in April where people will be able to see and try methods that might fit in with their life style and might assist avoid falls.
Dr Nadja Gottfert, Pinnacle Health’s GP Liaison in Taranaki chairs the group and will be one of a group of speakers that will include providers and those who benefit from their work. They will outline the problems, possible preventive measures and tell attendees where to go for more information and support.
‘‘Falls aren’t a natural part of the ageing process so can be prevented,’’ Dr Gottfert said. ‘‘Exercise also keeps your bones strong, gives you more energy, help you sleep better, helps control blood pressure, blood sugar levels and weight and keeps you socially active’’.
Dr Nadja Gottfert will speak about preventing falls.