31 Jul 2014 | Reducing Harm from Falls
This article was originally published in the Wanganui Chronicle.
Falls prevention classes for vulnerable Rangitikei citizens are going well six weeks into the 12-week programme.
Whanganui District Health Board (Whanganui DHB) health promoter Te Ora Nyman travels to Marton and Taihape once a week to meet with groups of 20-30 elderly residents and health workers eager to find out what they can do to lower the risks of falls in the home and community.
"It's sobering to look at the statistics provided to us by ACC for the Wanganui district," Ms Nyman said.
The figures showed 45 percent of all injuries occur in the home, while 26 percent were caused by a loss of balance or personal control.
"Each of these statistics is a person who experiences a great deal of pain, who is fearful of the next fall and who loses confidence to walk alone."
Driven by the Rangitikei District Council's Positive Ageing Strategy to improve the safety and well-being of the district's elderly population, Ms Nyman is supported by guest speakers from the New Zealand Fire Service, pharmacists, ACC, Age Concern, physiotherapists, St John Ambulance, and doctors promoting advanced care planning.
Information and resources are handed out at the classes.
Speakers include a question and answer session where participants are encouraged to raise issues they might have around their safety and well-being before taking part in a gentle exercise session.