April Falls Day! Stop that fall


F_R_MY15_April-Falls_day.pngFoot care and safe footwear are the focus of this year’s MidCentral District Health Board’s April No Falls campaign in April.

Foot problems, ill-fitting shoes, or shoes with poor grip may upset people’s balance and change the way they walk, which could put them at risk of falling. MDHB says “stop that fall — don’t let your feet trip you up”.

MDHB is encouraging people to take action and stay mobile and independent. It says a fall can be life-changing for an older person, impacting on their independence and wellbeing, with implications for their family and others. Staying mobile and independent is an important part of healthy aging.

MDHB assesses people for being at-risk of falls, by asking three questions. If people answer ‘yes’ to any one of these questions they are at-risk of falls and need to talk with a health professional:

    • Have you had a fall in the past 12 months?
    • Are you on four or more medications?
    • Do you have a fear of falling?

MDHB says the good news is that most falls can be prevented by the following simple and effective measures:

    • Be active, improve your balance, walk tall
    • Have your eyesight checked regularly
    • Get your medicines reviewed regularly
    • Manage your health and nutrition
    • Keep your home clutter-free, and well lit
    • Discuss bone strengthening medication with your GP
    • Good foot care and safe footwear

As part of April No Falls Day (1 April), MDHB hosted a falls prevention evening symposium at the Convention Centre in Palmerston North for all healthcare workers working with older people.The messages and strategies of falls prevention will be promoted throughout the MDHB region including local community hospitals, aged care facilities and primary care teams.

Ann Chapman