Seniors told to step on for falling

ELDERLY Tweed residents have been advised to take part in community programs after NSW Health Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said falls are a leading cause of injury for older people.

“Research shows that falls are a major cause of injury-related hospitalisations with one-in- four people aged 65 years and older report falling at least once in a year,” Dr Chant said.

“Falls result in approximately 27,000 hospital admissions each year and cause at least 300 deaths in NSW.

“A fall can trigger the beginning of a downward spiral in an older person’s health, but they can be prevented.”

Dr Chant said elderly residents should be aware of health programs and professionals in their area.

“Older people experiencing falls should talk to a health professional that can assess what factors are causing them to fall and provide advice on the actions they can take to reduce their risk of falling and maintain their health,” Dr Chant said.

Earlier this year NSW Health launched the Active and Healthy website to help people across NSW identify exercise programs in their area.

The website includes information about Stepping On, a free program offered to the communities of Pottsville, Kingscliff, Murwillumbah, Banora and Tweed Heads.

Stepping On is considered to be one of the most effective falls prevention programs in NSW and has been offered to Tweed Shire communities since September 2010.

The program covers a range of topics, including vision, medicines and practical exercises to improve strength and balance.

The group-based sessions run for two hours a week for seven weeks, followed by a refresher session three months later.

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