Sydney-based not-for-profit retirement living and aged care provider, Anglican Retirement Villages has introduced a ‘Better Balance’ program aimed at minimising falls among older populations.
The program, which looks at areas such as reducing the chance of slipping and tripping, improving balance, ‘fall-proofing’ a home and footwear and protective wear, will be one of the first of its kind to be associated with a retirement and aged care provider.
Research conducted by ARV showed that a third of its residents were admitted to hospital because of a fall.
The next most common reasons were respiratory illness (8 per cent), pain management (7 per cent) and behavioural factors (6 per cent).
‘Better Balance’ classes will cover a range of activities that exercise the body, strengthen leg muscles, build bone density and keep people steadier on their feet.
Experts will monitor participants’ diets to ensure they are getting sufficient calcium and Vitamin D.
ARV’s Chief Executive Officer Ken Barber said 60 per cent of falls among people aged 75 and older occur at home, so the program will also advise on lighting, flooring, furniture placement and how to make each room safer and easier to manage.
“A fall is one of the worst things that can happen to an elderly person, and while the initial impact may not be life-threatening the effects can contribute to death,” said Mr Barber.
To help with fall prevention, ARV has produced an informative ‘Better Balance Handbook’ that covers a wide range of issues to do with balance, general health, medication misuse, vision awareness, dizziness, podiatry and continence.
The ARV Better Balance Centre can be contacted on (02) 9634 0370 weekdays or click here for more information.