This new health resource was recognised in the NSW Multicultural Health Communication Awards, which were presented this week by the Minister for Health at the launch of Multicultural Health Week 2015.
The Falls Prevention Home Exercises fact sheet details exercises to increase stability and balance and build strength to prevent falls.
Dushanka Dobrich from Newtown Neighbourhood Centre said, “the fact sheets were developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission, but they only had them in English and other major community languages. We saw the need to have them in Macedonian, Croatian, Serbian and Portuguese as well.”
“I met with the Strategic Community Project Officer - Ageing at Marrickville Council and we talked about how to tackle this. We didn't have any funding but we saw the need for this. So we cooperated with a number of organisations in developing the fact sheets, and Anglicare did the translations for us,” said Ms Dobrich.
“We made them into a fridge magnet so that while they are making their cup of tea in the morning seniors can actually do the exercises. The idea is that they practice the exercises daily,” said Ms Dobrich.
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The fact sheet has been well received by local seniors and is being used by the Western Sydney area health service in their aged-care programs with clients in their homes. The fact sheets are available on the Clinical Excellence Commission website and have been distributed at the Newtown Neighbourhood Centre and the Seniors Week Health and Wellbeing Expo.
Newtown Community Centre hosts a seniors day care centre for the communities from the Former Yugoslavia. The group has been meeting for over 25 years, with members coming from across the Inner West. The day care centre meets twice a week for social interaction and activities, such as information sessions, games, bingo and music therapy. The group also goes on outings and monthly communal lunches. Their most recent outing was to the Lane Cove National Park.
“Often people stay indoors and don’t get an opportunity to get out. So going out to a park or somewhere outdoors is really fun. It gives people an opportunity to walk around and to be out in the fresh air; and to look at the native birds and animals,” said Ms Dobrich.
Ms Dobrich said it was great to see the fact sheets making a difference and being used by other organisations. “It was really great to receive the recognition that the work we have done is really good,” she said.
And now it is on to the next project. “Whatever need comes up and is identified we will follow it through,” said Ms Dobrich.
“Working with a particular group you identify issues and you try to follow those issues up. If you see there is a need in the community then you try to address it by bringing in a guest speaker so that you can inform group members about what is actually happening or how they can get the resources that they need”.
From fact sheets to guest speakers and exercise demonstrations, NNC certainly has a winning way with multicultural health communication.