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Thanks to your support, The Hospital Research Foundation can fund vital research aimed at improving quality of life for all South Australians.
Professor Renuka Visvanathan who is Director of the Adelaide Geriatrics Training and Research with Aged Care (GTRAC) Centre is dedicated to helping elderly Australians live independently for longer through research.
That’s why when she met 92-year-old Maurice Taylor who was having frequent falls, Prof Visvanathan was determined to help him get back on his feet.
Always maintaining an active lifestyle, Maurice spent his career on the high seas aboard British cruise line ships. Since moving to Australia from his hometown in England, Maurice has kept his love of the outdoors, and picked up an interest in playing lawn bowls. It was late 2015, whilst still living independently, that Maurice began having falls at his home.
“The worst fall I’ve had was when I pulled the ironing board on top of me and I couldn’t get up. I could think of all the ways of getting up off the floor and I tried them but couldn’t get up. I was too dizzy,” Maurice said.
After meeting Maurice, Prof Visvanathan’s first objective was to pinpoint the reason for his frequent falls to improve his quality of life and allow him to get back to playing lawn bowls.
“Maurice was referred to me by his cardiologist because he was having frequent falls, was frail but wanted to remain independent for as long as possible,” Prof Visvanathan said.
“We undertook a comprehensive assessment to reduce Maurice’s risk of falls and identified some medications that were putting him at increased risk. These were stopped. Many of his falls were related to his blood pressure dropping when he changed position from stooping to standing and he was advised to be careful and avoid such changes in posture and instead use aids to help him.
“We also encouraged him to return to exercising to build his muscle mass, strength and balance. He had stopped because the falls had made him lose confidence and this was getting him down and forgetful.”
Now regularly seeing a team of physiotherapists and exercising weekly, Maurice says the work of Prof Visvanathan and her multi-disciplinary team has done him the world of good, he is still at home and hopes one day to return to playing lawn bowls with some aid.
“Put it this way – If I do ever go back to sea, I’ll insist Prof Visvanathan comes with me!”
Your support of healthy ageing research allows Prof Visvanathan and the team to make an incredible difference in the lives of people like Maurice, thank you.