Fall prevention boost for local seniors
The Nelson Marlborough District Health Board will be one of the first DHBs to benefit from new Government funding aimed at preventing injuries caused by seniors falling, says local MP Stuart Smith.
“Yesterday the Government announced ACC will invest $30.5 million over four years to help prevent falls and resulting injuries amongst our older population,” says Mr Smith.
“This is a significant funding injection which will support new and existing initiatives, so it’s great to see the Nelson Marlborough DHB included in the first phase of the rollout.
“Falls are the most common cause of injury for those aged over 65 years and older. They can have overwhelming effects on a senior’s physical and mental wellbeing, and cause stress for their families and loved ones.
“The number of people 65 years and older is expected to double within the next 20 years, so the new funding is a real boost for local seniors and the wider community.”
Falls amongst seniors also have a major economic effect, with fall-related claims in the over 65 age group costing around $163 million in ACC claims costs last year.
“This number is projected to reach between $296 million and $418 million annually by 2025, so it’s important we put measures in place now to limit the financial repercussions that falls have.
“There is a wide variety of factors that contribute to senior falls, and this investment will complement the great work done by our local health providers to help fund a range of initiatives.”
Specifically, the investment will help access to strength and balance programmes, fracture liaison services, vision assessment, medication review, vitamin D prescribing and integrated services across primary and secondary care.
“It’s great to see ACC working with local health organisations to achieve better results for our senior community. It’s another example of the Government’s commitment to supporting older New Zealanders and helping them lead active and healthy lives,” says Mr Smith.