April Newsletter

April No Falls

April No Falls aims to raise awareness of falls prevention. Staying active is the single most important thing you can do, to stay fit and independent. You can significantly reduce your risk of a fall by doing moderate exercise, for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week, and by incorporating balance and leg strength exercises.

Speak to your GP or nurse about referrals to an Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist.

Falls Prevention Toolkit

Check footwear – a podiatrist can assess your footwear. There are a number of podiatrists now in the Huon Valley, including Alesha Drury at the Southern Tas Podiatry Clinic, Maddi Dean at Mary Street Clinic and at Leap Health. Speak to your GP or nurse about a referral.

 

Food and nutrition – for energy and to preserve muscle tone. A dietician can help with advice on nutrition, speak to your GP or nurse about a referral.

 

 

Physical activity – the strength programs listed above are a great way to start increasing physical activity.

 

 

Check walking aids – our nurses are able to advise you on walking aids, and can conduct a home visit to check your home environment for falls risks.

 

 

Check medications – the Huon Valley Health Centre employs a Clinical Pharmacist, Andrew Ridge, who can advise you on which medications may be affecting your balance.

 

 

Access to glasses – impaired vision can contribute to reduced balance, we recommend having a check up with an optometrist (both Eyelines and Total Eyecare have clinics in Huonville).

 

Flu Vaccines

Influenza A and B viruses frequently change their surface antigens (essentially, the way they look). This results in outbreaks and epidemics and the need for annual vaccines.

For 2017, there were 3,484 laboratory confirmed diagnosis of influenza in Tassie (it is important to note though that most people don’t get tested for their flu illness), with the peak in the first week of September. Nationally, annual attack rates are generally 5-10% but can be as high as 20%.

The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for everyone. The Australian Government funds vaccines from 6 months onwards, for the following groups and medical conditions:

  • Pregnant women
  • >65 years of age (this year there is a stronger vaccination for this age group)
  • Cardiac disease
  • Chronic respiratory conditions
  • Severe asthma
  • Other chronic illnesses (such as diabetes, renal failure, metabolic diseases)
  • Chronic neurological conditions that can affect respiratory function (such as MS, spinal cord injury, seizure disorders)
  • People with impaired immunity
  • Long-term asprin use in children aged 6 months-10 years
  • Pre-term infants (<37 weeks gestation)

For all others, the influenza vaccine is strongly recommended and can be purchased for $15 from the end of April. See this post as to why it is important not to vaccinate yourself or your family too early in the season.

We will be running Flu Vaccine Clinics throughout the flu season. Alternatively, any of the doctors or nurses can give you the vaccine at your routine appointment.

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