Last month's Taranaki 'Live Stronger for Longer' expo was a joint collaboration between ACC, Pinnacle Midlands Health Network, Sport Taranaki and New Plymouth Injury Safe which visited New Plymouth, Waitara, Stratford and TDHB Base Hospital.
The aim of the expo was to educate the community about fall prevention movement and show the public available local options to help those over 65 years of age reduce their risk of falling. The opportunity connected health professionals with more than 250 members of the community interested in the benefits of strength and balance exercises for themselves, their whānau and their friends.
Physiotherapy students conducted strength and balance competency checks and approved community strength and balance class providers ran class tasters at each venue so participants could experience tai chi, movement to music, strength and balance circuits, SAYGo and Zumba Gold. The expo sessions connected people and those attending were able to talk to a range of professionals about other aspects that affect balance including hearing, eyesight, bone and joint health and nutrition.
Among other provider sessions, St John offered advice on how to do reduce the hazards at home with the use of a home safety checklist, demonstrated how to get off the floor safely after a fall and, along with Bupa, the use of medical alarms. Age Concern shared information on their activities offered to the aging community.
The local Falls Working Group would like to sincerely thank all the champions dedicated to helping support the aging community to reduce falls and fractures.
The Live Stronger for Longer movement is a national project with ACC, Ministry of Health and Health Quality and Safety New Zealand. For more information on the project and what is available locally please contact your local GP or Sport Taranaki or visit www.livestronger.org.nz.