April Falls Day – Frailty: Do you know the signs?

Far West Local Health District is holding an April Falls Day display in the Broken Hill Health Service foyer at 10am to 2pm on Monday, 1 April 2019 in support of April Falls Day®.

Frailty is the focus of April Falls Day® 2019 (1 April) and if you are working with patients or caring for an older person or those with a chronic condition, knowing the signs of frailty is important.

Falls Prevention in NSW is led by the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and the organisation’s Falls Prevention Program Lead, Lorraine Lovitt, said there were a range of signs of frailty. Patients with three or more warning signs should talk to their health care team.

“The signs include unintentional weight loss, weakness, slower walking speed, exhaustion and low activity levels (they) are all signs of frailty,” said Ms Lovitt.

Frailty can impact a person’s ability to function as normal and maintain their independence. Also, falling is strongly linked to frailty so addressing this issue is important for overall health and wellbeing. You don’t have to be older to be frail and those with chronic conditions medical and mental health conditions are also at an increased risk of frailty.

“Some signs of frailty can be reversed or treated with appropriate help. People can improve their physical activity levels with emphasis on strength and balance exercise, improve their nutrition intake with an increase in protein and medication management can also play an important role,” said Ms Lovitt.

At Far West LHD Desley Johnson oversees a range of programs to help support patients at risk of falls and issues including frailty. To find out about local classes and support contact the Physiotherapy Department (Broken Hill Hospital) on 8080 1405.

The Clinical Excellence Commission’s, NSW Falls Prevention Program has developed a range of resources for carers and health staff:

http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/patient-safety-programs/adult-patient-safety/falls-prevention/april-falls-day-2019

 

 

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