Talking and listening to carers helps keeps older people safe – April Falls Day – Friday 1st April 2016

More than one in three people 65 years or older fall at least once a year and aged care residents are even more at risk with up to half of these residents falling at least once a year.

The importance of involving carers and patients in falls prevention is highlighted on April Falls Day® (Friday, 1 April 2016) with the theme – Share the Care: Falls Prevention is everyone’s business®.

Falls prevention activities are planned throughout the Health District during April and are being supported by Health Promotion and the Carer Support Program. These range from morning tea celebrations to information displays and exercise demonstrations.

Events happening across the Far West LHD are:

  • Broken Hill Health Service – The FWLHD Falls Prevention Working Group will be in the hospital foyer on Friday 1st April between 10am to 2pm promoting falls prevention, including an OT/Physio Dept display; and ASET (Aged Care Emergency Team) Nurse/Carer Support Coordinator will be running education sessions with identified community groups. The hospital wards have been challenged to decorate their ward promoting the theme ‘Share the care’, with a prize being presented to the best ward. Towards the end of the month, the working group will hold a community awareness booth and encourage members of the community to stay active and prevent falls.
  • Ivanhoe Health Clinic – local community outreach at local shops.
  • Dareton Primary Health Centre – running AFD events alongside Flu Vax program to try to capture as many people as possible; an information display in the reception area and an information desk and short information day at Wentworth Shire in conjunction with Seniors Week
  • Wentworth Health Service – promoting Red Socks with visual display and display of falls prevention equipment.

Clinical Excellence Commission, Falls Prevention Program Leader, Lorraine Lovitt said there was a particular focus on staff engaging with carers and patients to prevent falls and keep older people safe.

“Carers are an important part of the care team in NSW public hospitals and other health settings,” Ms Lovitt said. “Carers can let health workers know a lot of important information about their loved ones. “Carers know the patient the best and can tell health professionals when something is just ‘not right’ with their loved one.”

Important information carers can share with health workers includes:

  • Recent slips, trips or falls
  • Changes in memory or thinking at home or in hospital
  • Personal habits and history of help support and settle
  • Changes in medications
  • Personal aids used (glasses, hearing aids, walking sticks)
  • Need for assistance with toilet, shower or self-care

The Clinical Excellence Commission, NSW Falls Prevention Program has developed a range of resources for carers and health staff which are available on the Clinical Excellence Commission website http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/programs/falls-prevention/april-falls-day-2016

For local information please contact Shelley Moor on phone 02 6369 8078 or Deb Kenna on phone 02 6369 8030 for more information.

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