With the further easing of COVID-19 restrictions, older Australians in Western NSW Local Health District are encouraged to get physically and socially active as part of an April Falls Day campaign to reduce the incidence of falls in older age groups.
Safe Activity for Everybody was the theme of April ‘Falls’ Day, on Thursday, 1 April. NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network Lead Advisor Professor Cathie Sherrington said she hoped 2021 would be the year of safe activity for everybody with the campaign focused on encouraging older Australians to get moving again by embracing balance and strength exercises and reconnecting with their community.
Professor Sherrington said there was some anecdotal evidence that older people had been leading a more sedentary and isolated lifestyle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Staying physically active is the single most important thing we can do to stay independent as we age. Improving strength and balance in our legs allows us to complete regular daily activities more easily, including getting up and downstairs, in and out of cars, negotiating uneven surfaces and reducing the risk of falling.”
“Research has also shown that regular exercise can reduce falls in older people by 23 per cent, but slowly building up high-challenge balance exercises can increase the effects of exercise by up to 40 per cent.”
The NSW Fall Prevention Program is run by the Clinical Excellence Commission (CEC) and this year the CEC collaborated with the NSW Fall Prevention and Healthy Ageing Network to produce a range of April Falls resources for patients, families, car-ers and health staff.
Fall Prevention information is also on the Clinical Excellence Commission website and local balance and strength exercises classes on the NSW Active and Healthy website.