OVERVIEW OF THE SERVICE
Falls Champions (physiotherapists and physiotherapy supervised nurses) conduct in-home visits and phone calls with patients and support people/whanau over a period of 12 months. The initial visit will involve specific testing of strength and balance, a home hazard check, and prescription of an exercise programme (based on a modified version of the Otago Exercise Programme). These exercises are specifically designed to prevent falls and consist of progressive leg muscle strengthening and standing balance training exercises.
The patient will be visited in their own home followed by regular phone call follow ups and up to three further in-home check up appointments to progress and monitor their exercises over twelve months. The patient is encouraged to carry out their in-home exercises three times a week and complete their walking plan twice a week.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
This programme is fully funded and therefore FREE for all participants.
- Over 75 years of age (over 65 years for Māori) and live within the BOPDHB area.
- Living in the community but not in residential rest home level care.
- Unable to attend a community strength and balance class (Keep on Your feet).
- Unable to independently get out of a chair without having to push up from the arms of the chair.
- Cannot be attending a community based exercise programme.
- Older adults with conditions that prevent them from following instructions.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP PREVENT A FALL?
- Your carpets and rugs should lie flat and be non-slip.
- Keep walkways clear of clutter, i.e. electrical cables, magazines etc.
- Mop up spills in the kitchen and bathroom as they happen.
- Make sure stairs are well lit.
- Make sure your shoes and slippers fit well and have non-slip soles.
- Have your vision checked regularly.
- Have regular medical check -ups with your GP.
DID YOU KNOW…
- Falls are the Leading cause of injury in people over the age of 65 years.
- Around one-third of generally healthy people aged 65 and older will have at least one fall each year.
- Strength, flexibility, balance and reaction time are considered the most readily modifiable risk factors for falls.
- People, even in their 90s, can improve their strength and balance to achieve stability and avoid falls.
WHO PROVIDES THE SERVICE?
The BOP in-home falls prevention programme is one of a range of nation-wide falls prevention initiatives supported by ACC to reduce falls and fractures and support older people to ‘live stronger for longer’.
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?
Referrals must come from a health care professional so please contact your General Practice, nurse, physiotherapist, pharmacist or other health professional to discuss if this service would be of benefit to you.
If this service is not right for you, however you still have concerns about falling then you may want to learn more about a wide range of community based strength and balance classes. To find out more about these classes please go to www.sportbop.co.nz. Furthermore if you want more information about the ‘live stornger for longer’ nationwide initiate then please visit www.livestronger.org.nz.