Prevention of Falls among the Elderly
Our team chose a group close to our hearts: the elderly; and we focused on ‘Fall Prevention’ which has a very direct and significant link with health.
We worked with a community-based organisation in Tanglin Halt – FaithActs (FA), and took part in in their weekly activities to build rapport with their members. To understand the needs of the elderly living in the community, and some of the challenges social workers face, we participated in home visits to share about FA and their programmes. In our sessions with the elderly, we got a glimpse of their own thoughts and insights as to why falls happen. We actively participated in teaching them the lower limb exercises that can be done conveniently at home. We also made presentations and learnt that these had to be interactive to gain their optimum attention.
The large-scale event that we had was a Cataract Screening Event that was opened to seniors of the community. While four volunteer doctors conducted the consultations, we took the opportunity to share our message of ‘Fall Prevention’ by interacting with the seniors through games. These games reinforced the message that physical activity which strengthens muscles and improves coordination can increase well-being especially by preventing falls.
As we looked back at the entire journey we realised that it was we that gained the most from the venture. While the effects of our actions on the health of the elderly in Tanglin Halt are difficult to measure and evaluate, the process caused us to reflect on our own lives and through that we learned a little more about ourselves. We hope that the elderly who shared their time with us also found that they enjoyed the interaction and that their lives, like ours, improved, even if just a little, because of it.