April Falls Day 2018

April Falls Day® will be held on Wednesday 4th April 2018

Nutrition and Hydration
Eating well to prevent falls

The theme for 2018 April Falls Day aims to highlight the importance of nutrition and hydration for older people; reducing the risk of malnutrition, dehydration and delirium. When older people don’t consume enough food or water they lose muscle and strength, become unsteady on their feet, can feel weak and/or dizzy, which can lead to a fall.

Why it is important to eat well to prevent falls

Eating healthy food from a balanced diet with adequate energy and protein is important for maintaining muscle mass and muscle strength to reduce the risk of sarcopaenia (muscle wasting), frailty and fall-related injury. Older people who are undernourished or have unintentionally lost weight are more likely to be admitted to hospital and have increased incidences of falls, hip fractures, poor wound healing and osteoporosis.

People with dementia and confusion are at the highest risk of falls, and are also more at risk of being malnourished and dehydrated.

Reasons why people may have poor nutritional intake or hydration include:
  • Poor oral health and dentition problems
  • Unable to shop, plan or prepare meals – may be socially isolated
  • Poor appetite or not feeling hungry
  • Unable to recognise the food/drink they have been given
  • Forgetting to eat and/or drink
  • Easily distracted at mealtimes
  • Difficulties with swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulties with using cutlery

2018 April Falls Day Resources

Staying Active

Eating well and staying active is important for all older people. Please visit the Active and healthy website to find an appropriate exercise program close to you:

Visit www.activeandhealthy.nsw.gov.au to:

  1. Find a local exercise program (such as Stepping On or Tai Chi) that includes balance and strength exercises. There is good evidence that balance and strength exercises can reduce a person’s risk of falling.
  2. Order Staying active and on your feet booklets
Please Note:

April Falls Day® is a registered trademark. Please contact the Clinical Excellence Commission at cec-falls@health.nsw.gov.au if you would like permission to use this trademark outside of New South Wales, Australia.

View the 2017 April Falls Resources