Seniors stay on their feet on April Falls Day
Almost one-third of people over the age of 65 experience a fall each year – but falls can be prevented.
Queensland 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 who are the most at risk of having a fall.
They took part in a free falls risk assessment, and many enjoyed supervised activities with trained fitness professionals. Regular exercise improves strength and balance and can reduce the chance of a fall by 23%*
Carinity’s Manager of Governance, Policy, Quality and Compliance, Joanne Speck, said the April Falls Day initiative aligns with national and international education campaigns about falls prevention.
Joanne said 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. Falls are also the main cause of injuries which lead to hospitalisation,” Joanne said.
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. Falls can be prevented by reducing the risk,” Joanne said.
“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.”
Joanne added that “taking care and not rushing” and limiting the chances of slipping and tripping – both inside and outside the home – is highly recommended.
“Wear well-fitting, flat shoes with non-slip soles and use non-slip mats or floor treatments. Remove tripping hazards around the home and garden and consider handrails for the bathroom, toilet and at front and back doors,” she said.
“Importantly, seniors should keep in daily contact with someone who can organise help if they need it, especially in an emergency.
People should also be aware of how medicine affects them and discuss possible side-effects with their doctor or pharmacist.
Carinity retirement villages residents and disability support service clients have also been learning about falls prevention during April Falls Month.
“Clients of our Bunderra and Our House disability services, in Boonah and Toogoolawah, thought of some great ways to help prevent a fall. This included exercise, using mobility equipment, drinking plenty of water, and eating a healthy diet,” Joanne said.
For more tips on how to reduce falls – and stay on your feet – visit Carinity’s April Falls Day website.
* Statistics from Queensland Health