Rest Homes are no fools when it comes to April FALLS Day

Tainui Rest Home Senior Carer Pamela Hugill gives resident Elma Cochrane a spoon of sugar to help swallow the Vitamin D tablet. Brigid Bright (Clinical Care Co-ordinator) holds the Tainui turtle.

3 April 2013

New Plymouth Injury Safe is treating four Rest homes in New Plymouth to morning tea, in appreciation of their work to prevent falls among their elderly residents.

The morning teas are one of a series of events across the country held this week to celebrate April FALLS Day, raising awareness of local initiatives to prevent falls and fall related injury.

Molly Ryan, Maida Vale, Rhapsody and Tainui Rest homes have all achieved a 100% prescribing rates for Vitamin D supplementation, compared to a regional average of 70%.

Falls are a particular issue for older people living in aged residential care. A fall will often result in serious injury, reduced mobility and a loss of confidence and independence. ACC, DHBs and Primary Health Organisations are supporting a programme aimed at reducing falls in residential facilities by ensuring Vitamin D supplements are available to residents.

Taranaki DHB Physician Laird Madison has been instrumental in encouraging the use of Vitamin D supplement for older people. "A fall can have a devastating impact on elderly people and their loved ones,” said Laird Madison. “Vitamin D offers a cost effective and simple way of reducing this risk of falls. Vitamin D supplements are available to anyone living in a residential care facility and all it takes is one 1.25mg tablet once a month to boost your Vitamin D levels,” he said.

Vitamin D is a proven way to help reverse the muscle weakness that plays a part in many falls. It is not uncommon for your body's Vitamin D levels to decrease as you get older. This can happen if you spend less time outside in the sun, which is one of the main sources of Vitamin D, which can be a particular issue for those living in residential care facilities.

On average, 70% of residents living in aged residential care, are taking Vitamin D supplements. This figure is up from 63% the previous quarter. Taranaki DHB would like to see this figure reach 90% and are working closely with local residential facilities to encourage prescribing of Vitamin D supplements.

A photo opportunity at Tainui Rest Home on Thursday 4 April at 10am for morning tea and thank their staff for supporting the Vitamin D scheme.


For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Adviser
Ph 021 367 789

Last updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013

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