Chris Boothroyd, NBMLHD Falls Coordinator
Eat right and stay active to fend off falls
28 Mar 2018
It’s no joke, this year April Falls Day is on Thursday 5 April. The annual event draws attention to ways older people can avoid becoming unsteady on their feet and falling.
One in three people aged 65 and over fall each year says Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District’s Chris Boothroyd, a clinical nurse consultant who specialises in falls prevention.
“A fall at any aged can be potentially dangerous, but for older people falls are the leading cause of injury related hospital presentations,” says Mr Boothroyd.
“After a fall, recovery can be lengthy and mobility and independence can be reduced. Unfortunately, for some the changes are permanent and life changing.”
Mr Boothroyd says there some simple things everyone can do to reduce their risk of falls.
“Often people fall if they are unwell, weak from poor nutrition, or dehydrated, which can cause you to feel dizzy. Keeping active, eating well, staying hydrated and getting a good night’s sleep helps your body stay healthy, strong and agile.
“Strong muscles and bones will also reduce the risk of fall-related injuries. While regular eye tests and wearing the correct glasses will help you judge distances more accurately and see hazards.”
‘Stepping On’ is a free NBMLHD 7 week program at various locations that combines gentle strength and balance exercises with educational sessions covering, for example, safe footwear, nutrition and medications.
“The Stepping On program is a fun way to exercise with others who are of a similar age and to a great way to learn to identify personal falls risks and how to safely move about the home and during everyday activities like shopping.
“Our aim is to give people the knowledge to avoid falls and stay healthy and independent.”
The Stepping On program is available to everyone over 65 (over 45 years for Aboriginal people).
For more information and bookings call 02 4734 3877.