13 Jul 2016 | Reducing Harm from Falls
An investment of $30.5 million over four years by ACC, to support new and existing initiatives aimed at preventing falls and resulting injuries, has been welcomed by ACC Minister Nikki Kaye and Minister for Seniors Maggie Barry.
Both Ministers visited Auckland Hospital this morning to celebrate the investment and visit an older persons’ health ward.
“ACC’s investment will boost work being done by local health organisations and community partners to provide better services for those at risk of falls and those who’ve been injured in a fall,” says Ms Kaye.
“This is one of the most significant investments ACC has made as it continues to ramp up its injury prevention work.
“A fall doesn’t just deliver a physical blow. It can also be emotionally devastating, robbing people of their confidence and independence.
“Many of us will know someone who’s had a fall and witnessed the devastating impact it’s had on them. This is about providing more support for mums, dads, grandmas and grandads, to help them have the best quality of life.”
The number of people aged 65 years and older is expected to double to around 1.2 million by 2035, when they will make up almost one quarter of the population.
“Falls are the most common and costly cause of injury for those aged 65 and over.
“Last year, the cost of fall-related claims in this age group was around $163 million, and this is projected to reach between $296 million and $418 million annually by 2025. ACC’s investment therefore makes good financial sense as our population ages.
“There’s no single cause of falls. ACC’s investment recognises that a holistic approach is needed, tackling a range of factors that together make our older people more at risk of falling.
“Loss of muscle strength, deteriorating eyesight, the side-effects of medication and trip hazards in the home can all contribute to a fall.
“ACC’s investment will therefore help fund access to:
“This is a great example of ACC working collaboratively with partners, including DHBs, the Health Quality Safety Commission and the Ministry of Health, to enhance the reach and effectiveness of its injury prevention work,” says Ms Kaye.
Ms Barry says the collaborative approach to reducing falls and fall-related injuries reflects the Government’s commitment to the New Zealand Health Strategy and positive ageing, where older people live well, age well and are healthy, connected, independent and respected.
“As our population ages, we need the right services in place to support our older people, and this investment by ACC is a huge step towards this goal,” says Ms Barry.
“We all want to age positively. Earlier this year, I launched the SuperSenior Champions programme, which is about inspirational role models who embody the idea of positive ageing.
“The Government is committed to supporting older people with their aspirations and also making our towns, cities and communities better places to be old.”