A severe fall is often the beginning of the end for many older people who have had repeated falls with increasing severity. It creates a downward spiral of fear of further falls leading to inactivity thus leading to muscle loss and therefore increasing the risk of more injuries. More than 20 percent of people die within a year of a fall that has resulted in a fractured hip and even more die of complications triggered by the event. Half of those who survive suffer a loss of independence resulting in the need for more family intervention and/or the need for community care services. With younger people becoming increasingly time poor and often not living close by, it can be difficult for families of older people who are frail to give them the care required to enable them to continue to live safely at home. Additionally there is insufficient government funding available to provide community care to the thousands of older Australians who desperately need it.
Researchers know older age groups are more at risk of falls due to chronic disease and taking multiple medications, deteriorating eye sight, decline in muscle strength and loss of stability and strength. However many people fail to mention minor falls which could signal a problem that could be addressed with exercise and maintaining a healthy calcium rich diet.
Interchange Australia offers a range of services designed to assist older people to live a quality life. We have cooking groups where participants prepare and eat a healthy meal together. Our small exercise groups give people the opportunity to boost their physical ability in a fun and safe environment. We can accompany individual people to the exercise of their choice, undertake with them a basic exercise program in their home or simply go for a walk. All of these activities can help to prevent falls so people can remain living at home independently.
If you would like to find out more about these programs and services please call one of our friendly consultants on 1300 112 334.