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Preventing falls work supported by grant

December 10, 2016

One in three older Australians falls each year, often with serious consequences including disability and even death. The rate of falls for older people living in aged care facilities – who are less physically able than those living in the community – is even higher.

 

OCAV recently received a grant from the Aged Persons Welfare Foundation to buy six electric beds with adjustable height settings for its aged care facility at Leith Park.

 

Shaaron Robilliard, OCAV’s
Quality Manager & Director of Nursing, welcomed the grant, saying it would make a major difference to reducing the likelihood of falls among older and more frail residents.

 

“We recently conducted an internal safety audit that highlighted the need for us to put as many safeguards in place as we can to prevent falls from occurring in the first instance,” she said.

 

The audit revealed that many falls happen when residents are getting in or out of bed.

 

“Electric beds that lower to the floor will greatly reduce the chance of injury, and will also ensure staff protect their backs better,” she said.

 

Over the previous year OCAV had 274 falls among the 81 residents (the average age is 80) living in the high and low aged care facility at our Leith Park Estate in Melbourne.

 

“While this is well under the national benchmark for falls in aged care, we want to lower the figure if we can,” Ms Robilliard said.

 

Falls can be life changing experiences. The loss of autonomy for a formerly independent older person who has to learn to live with a permanent disability can be devastating. Many people experience extreme frustration, apathy and depression after having to relinquish such simple freedoms as dressing and washing oneself without assistance.

 

“Sadly, also an injurious fall may mean a move from low to high care facilities, which can then result in the rapid decline of many older people,” Ms Robilliard said.

Evon makes it a priority to help people make the move into a village as easy as possible. She also works to ensure the new residents feel a strong sense of welcome and belonging.

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