Channel NewsAsia

TTSH "steps out" to help prevent falls

Some 1,200 participants have so far undergone Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Stepping Out into Active Life programme - aimed at heightening awareness of falls prevention.

SINGAPORE: Some 1,200 participants have so far undergone Tan Tock Seng Hospital's Stepping Out into Active Life programme - aimed at heightening awareness of falls prevention.

The programme sees a multi-disciplinary team -- comprising doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and medical social workers -- providing an all-rounded approach towards fall prevention.

The physiotherapist conducting exercises plays an important role by increasing the physical function of the elderly through strengthening, balancing and endurance exercises.

To complement that, the occupational therapist goes into the homes of each participant to assess potential risks at home that may cause falls.

Following that, advice will be given with regards to modifications to help make their homes a safer environment to live in.

Nurses and medical social workers may also intervene for issues such as medication management and social problems that may indirectly increase their risk of falls.

Minister of State for Community, Culture and Youth, Sam Tan, gave this update at the Tan Tock Seng's Falls Awareness Day. He stressed that essentials of falls prevention must be highlighted to the elderly.

That is because seven per cent of visits by older patients to the accident and emergency department are due to falls.

Falls resulting in injuries also occur in about 35 per cent of the population. The consequences -- increased healthcare costs such as surgery may be needed to repair a hip fracture and subsequent rehabilitation to regain mobility.

Mr Tan said: "Although falls is a major health issue among older adults, we must all understand that it is not a usual consequence of ageing alone.

"There are various areas in a person's life and the environment they are in which also can be subjected to reduced incidences of falls occurring. Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle is very important in keeping the older adult's mind alert and body strong."

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna