April Falls 2018
Updated 3 April 2018
The theme for April Falls 2018 is Live Stronger For Longer as we support the New Zealand integrated approach to falls and fracture prevention. April Falls has become well embedded as the impact month that re-energises our focus on falls and fracture prevention, and spotlights the great work being undertaken across the sector. We look forward to seeing lots of activity and sharing of ideas in April 2018.
We have emailed the hospital falls leads, connecting them with the Live Stronger For Longer community strength and balance programme lead agencies and the local community falls working groups. We hope that the hospital and community leads will work together to run DHB-wide, integrated April Falls events.
We’ve also updated our Ask assess act pocket cards and sent 200 copies to each of the hospital falls leads. More can be ordered via the Commission.
Key messages for April Falls 2018 can be found here – providers can use these to inform their own media releases and communications activities.
The resources created for April Falls 2017 are still highly relevant and we recommend revisiting them:
The Live Stronger for Longer movement - it’s gaining strength in communities throughout New Zealand
A fall can be devastating for older people. It can make them fearful of falling again, which stops them doing the things they used to do. This can lead to social isolation and even depression.
Every year one in three people over 65 will fall. For people aged 80 and over, the risk increases to one in two. Not every fall results in an injury, but those that do can cause broken bones, which can be painful and take a long time to heal.
People are often unaware of the link between a broken bone and osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is the gradual loss of bone strength and density. Over time bones become fragile and weak which causes other bones to break more easily. The good news is it’s never too late to build up those bones and keep them strong and healthy. Fall prevention is the key and that’s the thinking behind the ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ movement developed by government agencies and health providers specifically for people over 65.
The Live Stronger for Longer website offers lots of practical information and advice and on how to live an active, independent life and encourages people over 65 to join community group strength and balance classes. Classes help prevent falls and give older people the chance to have some fun and meet new people. Those who can’t get along to group classes may be able to get support at home to do some strength and balance exercises.
If you know of anyone who has had a fall, or has limited their activities because of a fall, encourage them to join a class in their community.
Find out if there’s an exercise class in your community that has been assessed by experts as safe and effective for older people. Look for the approved tick.
Preventing falls-related injury
A further resource is the Good Fellow webinar from Tuesday 17 October 2017 entitled Preventing falls-related injury, a recording of which can be found on the Goodfellow Unit website.
This is highly recommended viewing of Professor Ngaire Kerse, Dr Shankar Sankaran and Gill Hall from ACC discussing how to reduce falls injuries and serious harm falls and fractures, improve recovery (in hospital and home) and giving their thoughts on how to develop an integrated falls and fracture system.
The Atlas of Healthcare Variation
A key part of preventing falls is knowing your local and regional falls data. An updated Atlas of Healthcare Variation falls domain will be released in time for April Falls 2018. As in previous years we have created a workbook, so DHBs can analyse their data compared with national averages, and DHB-specific posters that show falls data by DHB region.
The Atlas of Healthcare Variation is designed to identify variation in the delivery of health care services across New Zealand. The goal of the Atlas is to stimulate debate on selected topics with a view to understanding whether observed variation is genuine and based on differences between populations, or whether it reflects variable practice. Ultimately, the intention is not to make a judgement but to stimulate debate and conversation. Typically, large variation in practice may indicate areas of clinical uncertainty, variable interpretation of the evidence, or it may highlight issues of access.
This Atlas domain presents data by DHB on falls in people aged 50 and over, and includes data on ACC claims following a fall, hospital admission due to a fall, average bed-days and hip fracture indicators.
Falls-related injury prevention, with a focus on older adults, is also a high priority for both the ACC and the Ministry of Health. The Commission is working closely with both organisations to support the sector in this important area.
Please email Gabrielle Nicholson if you’d like to discuss April Falls 2018.
Please visit ACC’s website to order free Live Stronger For Longer resources.
Download the Ask, assess, act pocketcard.
Download the April Falls 2018 key messages.