Falls Co-Response Program helps many

Published 6:00am 17 May 2024

Falls Co-Response Program helps many
Words by Nadia Chapman

The Queensland Ambulance Service’s (QAS) Falls Co-Response crew helped 93-year-old Bongaree resident Joan Norton after she had an accident at home.

The QAS Falls Co-Response Program has been highly successful since its beginning in October 2023, helping older people who have inured themselves stay at home for longer.

Joan says the support she received from the crew was outstanding.

“I found myself sitting on the floor when my chair suddenly broke,” she says.

“It was lucky my Anglicare care support worker was coming in at the time.

“She called the ambulance straight away and the Falls Co-Response crew came in, talked to me, and assessed the situation as I wasn’t in any pain.

“I was envisaging it was going to be a horrible experience trying to get up.”

Instead, Joan was surprised after the crew used a piece of equipment called a Raizer II.

The machine safely supports patients into an upright seating position after an accident.

“They put the machine’s supports under my legs, behind my back and on my sides and pressed a button and I rose,” Joan explains.

“No one was more surprised than I. It is a great invention to help people get up without any pain or problem – it was magical.

“It makes such a difference to be put upright without any effort on my behalf.

“The responders were so competent, calm and acted like it was perfectly normal that people fall through chairs all the time.”

QAS Falls Co-Response Program Manager Kym Murphy says since October 2023 to March 2 this year, crews have responded to 823 patients who have had a fall.

“Of these, 49 percent of patients were provided with appropriate, individually tailored care plans and referrals without needing transport to hospital after being assessed by the specialist Falls Co-Response crews,” Kym says.

The QAS Falls Co-Response Program pilot is a collaboration between QAS and Queensland Health and is currently being piloted in Brisbane’s Metro North and Metro South communities.

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