Kiwis called to help prevent falls at home

  • Judith Collins

A new programme that aims to generate innovative solutions to reduce the number and severity of falls in the home has been launched today by ACC Minister Judith Collins.

The programme, called Idea Nation, features a series of brainstorming forums and a competition encouraging all New Zealanders to submit their falls-prevention ideas and help ACC solve this national problem.

“On the face of it, a fall might not sound too serious but every year thousands of New Zealanders from all walks of life are hurt by a fall at home," said Ms Collins.

Falls cost the country an estimated $1.8 billion in annual social and economic costs. Every year more than 100,000 working age people are injured as a result of a fall and more than 10,000 of them are so seriously injured that they are unable to work.

“These falls are happening to people at the most productive time of their lives - when they run households, support families and hold senior positions at work.

“Falls at home are causing significant disruption to the lives of New Zealanders and can lead to lost productivity for thousands of businesses. This causes lasting damage to New Zealand families, communities and our economy.

“No one in the world has really been able to come up with the solution for reducing falls in the home among working age people. Idea Nation is calling upon all New Zealanders to apply their number eight wire thinking and submit their ideas for preventing falls.

“I’m confident that by using Kiwi ingenuity and working together we can make New Zealand homes safer for us all,” Ms Collins said.

For more information about Idea Nation and how to get involved, visit Competition entries open from 12 March 2012 and there are prizes for the winners of each of the following categories: schools, universities, business and general public.