WDHB joins forces with leading health agencies to push the 'Live Stronger for Longer' programme

25 August 2017


If you’re over 65 and value your independence, the recently launched ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ programme is specifically designed to help you stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.


Led by ACC, the Ministry of Health and the Health Quality & Safety Commission (HQSC), the programme has been welcomed by Whanganui District Health Board (WDHB) which plans to distribute posters, booklets and pamphlets throughout our district in the next two weeks.


WDHB senior portfolio manager for Health of Older People Andrea Bunn says the website www.livestronger.org.nz and programme booklets provide valuable tips for avoiding trips, slips, falls and how people can ‘fall-proof’ their home and stay stronger by engaging in strength and balance exercise.


Mrs Bunn says it makes absolute sense to help people do everything they can to avoid a fall. “Making sure we all exercise, eat the right food and take the right medications to preserve and ideally improve bone strength, is something we should all do no matter what our age.


“That said, it’s well known that each year, one in three people aged 65 and over will fall. For people aged 80 and over, the risk increases to one in two.


“While it’s true that as people grow older, underlying conditions or problems with balance, strength or mobility do increase their risk of falling, it’s also important to note that many falls are preventable and falling shouldn’t be considered part of the normal ageing process.”


Mrs Bunn says the ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ programme is a joint effort by ACC, the Ministry of Health and the HQSC to help people stay on their feet and live the life they want to live.


WDHB director of nursing and clinical lead for the HQSC’s Reducing Harm from Falls Programme Sandy Blake is also very supportive of the programme. Mrs Blake says falls are often devastating for older people and their families.


“Frequent falling is one of the main reasons older people move into aged residential care and half of those who sustain a hip fracture from falling never regain the level of mobility they had before the fall,” Mrs Blake says.


“One of the best things any of us can do is follow the advice provided in the ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ literature and website. Being able to live stronger for longer is a goal for us all.”