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Preventing Falls focus of April Campaign

Thursday 13 April 2023

‘Get active and improve balance for fall prevention’ is the campaign goal the WellSouth Falls and Fracture prevention team are promoting around Otago and Southland this April Falls month.

“April Falls” is an annual campaign to raise awareness of the impact of falls and to promote the latest fall prevention strategies.

This year April Falls is marked by the release of an ACC funded app called Nymbl, a personalised app for older adults wanting to maintain or improve their balance from the comfort and safety of their home.

Research behind the Nymbl app shows many falls happen when a person is distracted. To combat this Nymbl pairs cognitive challenges with simple body movements to simultaneously challenge the user’s body and mind and reduce falls risk.

To celebrate the release, the WellSouth Falls and Fracture Prevention team are hosting “Nibbles and Nymbl” events across Otago and Southland.

The team will be at the Dunedin City Library from 11am – 1pm, Tuesday 18 April, Alexandra New World Lobby from 12pm – 2pm, Wednesday 19 April, and Invercargill Public Library from 11.30am – 1.30pm, Tuesday 2 May. 

They are inviting the public to come down and join them to enjoy nibbles, try out new strength and balance exercises, and test out the Nymbl app.

WellSouth Falls and Fracture Prevention Coordinator Bevan Taiaroa and Falls and Fracture Prevention Assistant Geo Joseph prepare for the upcoming Nibbles and Nymbl events.

Our friendly team will be there to answer any questions and will have plenty of resources on hand about strength and balance and fall prevention.

“We are excited that ACC is funding this app that so many New Zealanders will benefit from” says Nicole Hogg, WellSouth Falls and Fracture Prevention Coordinator.

“It’s easy to use, accessible and fun too.”


Community Strength and Balance

The WellSouth Falls and Fracture Prevention Team are part of the national ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ movement.

A nationwide falls prevention programme that aims to reduce the incidence and severity of falls and fractures, developed by ACC, the Ministry of Health, and the Health Quality and Safety Commission.

WellSouth deliver the programme in Otago/Southland, assessing community strength and balance exercise classes to ensure the exercise provider is delivering safe and effective exercise.

Providers that meet the criteria outlined by ACC have the approved strength and balance programme quality ‘tick’.

The community classes are a safe environment to build strength and improve balance, but the benefits are not just physical.

“Community classes are about more than just exercise, they are about connection and overall well-being. Exercising in a group provides you with the support of like-minded people, who are on a similar health journey to you” says Nicole.


In-Home Strength and Balance

People who are unable to attend the community classes but are at risk of falling can access in-home strength and balance support.

The WellSouth Falls and Fracture prevention team offer a free in-home service for those who qualify, developing a safe at home exercise programme.

The Nymbl app is another free at-home balance training programme suitable for older adults with access to a device.

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