“It is important to find the reason for the patient’s confusion so that interventions can be put in place to help prevent a fall. Signs of confusion can be sudden and fluctuate, and can also be accompanied by increased agitation, disorientation or changes in the level of consciousness,” Ms Dayhew said.
“Families and Carers of patients in hospital can provide Staff with valuable information should they find their loved one is more confused than normal, so it is essential to consult with the family.
“A fall is serious and can lead to long term hospitalisation, loss of independence, the need for supported care and in some cases, premature death,” Ms Dayhew said.
One in three people older than 65 have a fall each year and up to one fifth of these people experience multiple falls. According to Neuroscience Research Australia poor balance is the cause of the majority of falls in older adults.
The good news is by participating in activities that improve balance and strength, we can help ourselves prevent falls as we get older. Strength and balance is essential for us to continue everyday activities such as walking up and down stairs and responding successfully to unpredictable hazards even in our own home.
Ms Dayhew said, Community Health Education Groups (CHEGS) has been offering a range of gentle exercise classes and Falls Prevention Programs in the Northern Rivers for decades.”
Current groups include gentle exercise, Tai Chi and Qigong as well as the free eight week Falls Prevention Program – ‘Stepping On’.
For more information on CHEGS and classes offered near you visit http://www.chegs.org.au.
For more information on Falls Prevention visit the Clinical Excellence Commission website and follow the April Falls Day® 2015 link http://www.cec.health.nsw.gov.au/programs/falls-prevention/april-falls-day-2015.