Prevent­ing falls

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - LANCE GIRLING-BUTCHER

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’’.

SAM SCAN­NELL

Dr Nadja Got­tfert will speak about prevent­ing falls.

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