Falls Prevention Program at PDH

From Left: Brooke Smith, Exercise Physiologist, Veryan Caravelas and Briony Trace, Occupational Therapist
Wednesday, 24 August 2016
Walking her dog Daisy used to be a pleasure for Veryan Caravelas but a fall 14 months ago changed all that.

The accident happened while Mrs Caravelas was on holidays in New South Wales and  bent over to protect little Daisy from another dog and fell on her backside.

The resulting injury to her L1 vertebra delayed her return to Portland for six days and led to a long and painful recovery.

This was the second time Mrs Caravelas had suffered injuries from a fall – she previously broke a bone in her foot about four years ago - and she's determined not to let it happen again.

Mrs Caravelas, 68, has joined the Portland District Health Landing on Your Feet falls prevention program and is feeling much more confident. She's even back taking Daisy for her daily walk, something she was unable to do for a long time.

Following a recommendation from her doctor, Mrs Caravelas joined the falls prevention group in February.

I was up and around at that stage but still very limited, she said. The first day I was able to find out why I was having problems; I was shuffling and I didn't have good balance.

The eight-week program involves exercises plus education sessions delivered by different health professionals, including occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, podiatrists and pharmacists.

Exercises are chosen to help improve strength and balance, reduce the risks of falls and improve confidence.

Mrs Caravelas says her involvement in the program has been a success on all counts.

Once you've had a fall, you lose confidence,she admitted. With this group you're challenged within your capacity and do a variety of exercises that aid in recovery and keep you motivated.

I'm now more aware of things around me and I've got my confidence back. Everyone in the program has improved.

And Daisy is happy to have Mrs Caravelas back on her feet!

Self-referrals are accepted to enter the program; however a GP referral is encouraged. People can find out more about the Landing on Your Feet group by contacting 55 221410.

The program is suitable if you have had a fall, near misses or have a fear of falling.

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