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Falls prevention Taranaki


Taranaki: in-home strength and balance

  • The Taranaki falls prevention service (FPS), a partnership between Pinnacle MHN, Taranaki DHB and ACC, was launched mid-2017 and is now well established across the region.
  • The service provides frail elderly in the region with access to a free year-long in-home strength and balance programme.
  • It is led by a falls prevention therapist and a falls prevention assistant working as part of the Pinnacle MHN Taranaki multidisciplinary team (MDT).
  • Those eligible for the service have an initial visit, then a follow-up at two, four and eight weeks; six months; 12 months; as well as phone calls and extra visits if required. Each time we visit participants we go over prescribed exercises and do some tests to gauge strength and balance improvement.
  • The service was primarily established in response to the number of unplanned hospitalisation rates due to frail elderly having falls. People aged 75 years old and over comprise of 7.5 per cent of the Taranaki population, however unplanned hospitalisation rates for older people amount to nearly 4,790, or 26 per cent.
  • The aim of the FPS is to improve care within the primary care setting to reduce hospitalisation. Prior to this service being up and running in Taranaki, there was no service to proactively prevent falls.
  • A community strength and balance programme is being co-ordinated by Sport Taranaki.

Who's eligible?

Patients are eligible for a free falls assessment with their GP if they are:
  • Aged 75 years and older (or like age) and enrolled with a Pinnacle MHN general practice
  • Māori, Asian and Pacific Island people aged 65-74 years older (or like age) and enrolled with a Pinnacle MHN general practice.

How to refer

General practice provides a key point of access to the falls prevention service. Practices across the Taranaki region can screen, assess and refer eligible patients to the in-home programme. 

To refer, complete the Pinnacle MHN Community MDT e-referral. Under the 'clinical details' tab please tick 'include screening results', and ensure falls assessment is included..

Success stories

Contact

For more information about the programme, contact Taranaki regional services coordinator Sarah Wood: 027 687 7309 or sarah.wood@pinnacle.health.nz.

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