Western Sydney Local Health District is using April Falls month as an opportunity to reduce falls in its hospitals, hosting forums for clinicians, along with in-hospital stalls, exercise displays and information sessions for staff and the community.
One in three people over the age of 65 will have a fall in their lifetime – it’s often the result of a loss of muscle mass and strength, which affects balance and mobility.
When an older person is admitted to hospital, their likelihood of having a fall increases, particularly if they’re on medication, are confused or have dementia, or if they experience a sudden drop in blood pressure from standing up after sitting or lying down.
WSLHD is committed to preventing falls in its hospitals – nursing, occupational therapy and physiotherapy staff have formed several falls committees to look at ways of reducing falls.
As part of April Falls Day (April 3), Auburn Hospital’s Falls Committee hosted a stall at the main entrance, offering education on falls prevention and treatment.
The group also held a jellybean guessing competition and sold some sweet treats to raise money for resources to help prevent falls across the hospital.
Blacktown Hospital’s Allied Health team celebrated the day with some lunchtime tai chi in Hospital Street, reminding people to practise strength and balance exercises to prevent falls.
April Falls Month is an initiative of the Clinical Excellence Commission.