Bundaberg seniors are raising awareness about falls prevention – and learning how to stay on their feet – during the April Falls Day campaign run by Carinity.
The campaign aims to reduce harm from falls, particularly for seniors as almost one-third of people over the age of 65 experience a fall each year.
Carinity Kepnock Grove aged care residents and Carinity Home Care Bundaberg clients took part in a free falls risk assessment, and many enjoyed supervised activities with trained fitness professional.
Statistics from Queensland Health show that regular exercise improves strength and balance and can reduce the chance of a fall by 23%.
Susie Zunker from Carinity Home Care Bundaberg said the April Falls Day initiative aligned with national and international education campaigns about falls prevention.
She explained that around half of falls occur in and around the home and can have devastating complications for the victim.
“In Australia, falls are the leading cause of injury-related deaths, accounting for 37% of all deaths,” she said.
“Falls are also the main cause of injuries which lead to hospitalisation.”
Every day in Queensland one person will die, 36 people will be admitted to hospital, and 10 people will have hip fractures, all as a result of a fall.
“Many people think falls are a normal part of life and aging, but they’re not,” Susie said.
“Falls can be prevented by reducing the risk.
“Regular exercise most days can help maintain balance, muscle strength, flexibility and reduce someone's risk of a fall.
“Having the best possible lighting in your home, and using lights when getting up at night, is important.
“You should also have your eyes checked once a year and keep eye-glasses clean.”
Susie added that “taking care and not rushing” and limiting the chances of slipping and tripping – both inside and outside the home – was highly recommended.
“Wear well-fitting, flat shoes with non-slip soles and use non-slip mats or floor treatments,” she advised.
“Remove tripping hazards around the home and garden and consider handrails for the bathroom, toilet and at front and back doors.
“Importantly, seniors should keep in daily contact with someone who can organise help if they need it, especially in an emergency.”
She advised that people should also be aware of how medicine affects them and discuss possible side-effects with their doctor or pharmacist.
Click here for more tips on how to reduce falls.