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Welcome to Stay On Your Feet®. Information and resources to prevent falls and keep you active, because falls are preventable no matter what age you are.

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Build Your Balance Grants Program Success!

As the Build Your Balance campaign wraps up, so too does the Build Your Balance grants program. The three successful grant recipients were provided $5,000 to deliver a balance-focused falls prevention activity to older adults living in the community during the campaign months of September to November 2015.

The City of Albany, a recipient of a Build Your Balance grant have had a lot of success in delivering ‘Easy Movers’ a 12 week balance and strengthening exercise program run at the local leisure and aquatic centre.

Easy Movers involved a qualified exercise physiologist training peer (older adult) exercise volunteers who deliver balance and strengthening exercise sessions to older adults in the City of Albany community, for free or at a low cost.

The trained volunteers then assist and supervise participants of the program with the program’s balance and strengthening exercises, which were also developed by exercise physiologists.

The program has been a great success thus far, with over 30 older adults registering for the Easy Movers program and attending the class each week. Due to a small delay commencing the program, Easy Movers will continue to run until mid-January. Staff at the City of Albany are hoping the program will be able to be delivered long-term at the centre and continue to help older adults to stay on their feet.

Albany Easy Movers IMG_0286 Albany Easy Movers IMG_0288

Participants improving their balance at Easy Movers.

What’s next?

The three successful applicants of the Make Your Home Safer $5,000 grants will be announced Monday 14 December. Stage 1 short-listed applicants are currently receiving coaching from the Stay On Your Feet team to assist them complete their stage 2 application. The recipient’s activities will be delivered during the Make Your Home Safer campaign from 1 February to April 30.

Use the Stay On Your Feet® website to prevent slips, trips and falls

Are you planning a falls prevention program? Applying for funding? Working with older adults?

Find everything you need on the Stay On Your Feet® website!

If you are planning to deliver a community-based falls prevention strategy, the Stay On Your Feet® website is a great place to find the evidence you need to ensure your program will effectively prevent slips, trips and falls amongst older adults.

Visit the Evidence and Reference Documents page on the Stay On Your Feet® website to discover every document used to inform Western Australia’s leading falls prevention program, Stay On Your Feet®.

The information and documents referenced can guide the planning of your falls prevention program, whether it be tackling a single falls prevention risk factor or taking a multifactorial approach, the Stay On Your Feet® website has a range of databases, reports, journal articles and websites available at your fingertips! This will set you up for the successful implementation and evaluation of an evidence-based falls prevention program.

If you are pitching a falls prevention program to your funding bodies or applying for grants, it is integral that your strategies are informed by good quality evidence. These programs have the highest chance of producing positive outcomes amongst your target group thus increasing your likelihood of receiving funding.

All health professionals are also encouraged to use the Stay On Your Feet® website as a resource to refer to when discussing falls prevention strategies with older adults. There is plenty of information available for community members and health professionals about falls risk factors and ways to reduce these risk factors to prevent slips, trips and falls.

The Stay On Your Feet® eDirectory launched earlier this year, is a fantastic tool to connect older adults with programs, services or events that will move their body, improve their health and remove hazards to reduce their risk of falls.

Health professionals can also access free resources, including Stay On Your Feet® brochures and more that can be provided to older adults, apply for a grant to fund a falls prevention initiative and get involved in the current campaign.

If you would like to have the latest in falls prevention research, Stay On Your Feet® program updates, professional development opportunities and much more delivered to your inbox, subscribe to the Stay On Your Feet® Falls Prevention eNews here: http://eepurl.com/Qb6ob

Visit the website https://www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/ and view the evidence behind the Stay On Your Feet® program https://www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/health-professionals/what-works-to-reduce-falls/falls-tools/ . For more information phone 1300 30 35 40.

Build Your Balance Forum

Audience at the Build Your Balance forumKeith Hill presenting on balance exercises for people with dementiaLisa Cockman demonstrating vestibular assessment manouvreChiara Naseri presenting on prescribing balance exercises

“It is amazing the amount of evidence that we now have regarding exercise and the many benefits it provides people of all ages” said Chiara Naseri as she discussed the essential components of effective exercise for falls prevention at the Build Your Balance Forum in October. A captive audience of health professionals gathered at the Boulevard Centre and regionally via webinar,  to share their knowledge, skills and experiences in tackling balance-related falls risk factors and potential strategies to reduce them.

PRESCRIBING SAFE AND EFFECTIVE BALANCE EXERCISES

“By optimising function, balance confidence and supporting sustainable lifestyle changes, we (health professionals) can prevent falls and maximise the independence of older adults living in the community.” Chiara provided in-depth explanations on how to prescribe  exercises that can safely and effectively challenge balance to prevent slips, trips and falls.

Chiara’s presentation drew on her extensive experience as a physiotherapist at the Osborne Park Hospital Falls Specialist Program and the vast evidence base that supports the effectiveness of challenging balance exercises to maintain and improve balance to prevent falls.

She encouraged all Health Professionals, particularly Physiotherapists, to act as enablers and use their professional knowledge to guide older adults to manage their falls risk factors independently.

FALLS RISK AND BALANCE EXERCISES AMONGST PEOPLE WITH DEMENTIA

Professor Keith Hill, Head of the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science at Curtin University, presented the latest research findings in the effectiveness of balance exercises for falls prevention in people with dementia.

Keith revealed that people with dementia fall at a disproportionately higher rate than people without dementia. This is thought to result from  the individual’s impaired neurological function that exacerbates other falls risk factors, such as poor balance.

Keith’s presentation focused on the current evidence supporting the modification of balance exercise programs for healthy older adults as a falls prevention strategy for people with dementia.

The prescription of challenging and effective balance exercises is guided by the individual’s level of cognitive and physical ability, and similar to people without dementia, safety is of paramount importance when performing the exercises.

BALANCE AND THE INNER EAR

The audience then observed Lisa Cockman, an Audiologist from the Balance Centre at the Ear Science Institute of Australia, who demonstrated simple and effective manoeuvres to assess an older adult’s vestibular function.

She encouraged the audience to learn and perform these assessments in their practice with older adults, explaining they can identify a fairly common and treatable condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

Whilst this particular condition is not serious it can have substantial impact on an individual’s functioning and increase their risk of falls, resulting in injury. Lisa highlighted the importance of all physiotherapists in particular being able to identify and treat BPPV as it will reduce patient’s falls risk, improve their quality of life and save them a costly visit to an Audiologist!

The evening closed with an interactive case study allowing attendees to put their newfound knowledge into practice.

The Stay On Your Feet® team would like to thank the fantastic guest speakers for their informative and insightful presentations. The audience left with increased awareness of the role of balance in preventing falls and strategies to build the balance of older adults.

FEEDBACK

Feedback received via a short questionnaire indicates attendees were highly satisfied with event and found it to be a valuable and engaging learning experience.

WHAT’S NEXT?

The next Stay On Your Feet® campaign, Make Your Home Safer, is launching in February 2016 and there will be a Make Your Home Safer forum held. More information about this fantastic learning and networking opportunity will be available in the coming months.

 

Stay On Your Feet® in the Press!

If you have picked up a copy of The Senior or Have a Go News this month you may have noticed that Gwen, the face of the Build Your Balance campaign, has become quite the star! Stay On Your Feet® has been featured three times in these popular publications within the past month, which has increased awareness of the program and current campaign amongst older adults living in the community.

The articles highlight the fact that whilst balance declines as people age, it doesn’t have to. Balance can be maintained and improved through the completion of balance exercises and recreational activities such as lawn bowls or tai chi that involve leaning forwards, backwards and to the side.

The media coverage has prompted a significant increase in community enquiries, with many older adults seeking information on how they can build their balance to prevent slips, trips and falls. The new Build Your Balance brochure and exercise flyer are in high demand and have received positive feedback from community members and health professionals alike.

The Build Your Balance campaign will continue to run until Monday 30 November.

Gwen Beaver performing balance exercises

Gwen performing balance exercises (featured in The Senior)

Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention Instructor Training a Success!

A total of 35 health professionals and community care workers in both Albany (21) and Perth (14) have successfully completed the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention Instructor Training courses held this September.

The two-day intensive courses were delivered by Master Tai Chi Trainer Rani Hughes and aimed to equip attendees with the knowledge and skills to deliver a modified Tai Chi for Arthritis program to older adults living in the community. A one-day option was also available to those who had already completed the training and wished to update their qualifications.

This evidence-based program has demonstrated ability to improve balance and reduce the risk of falls amongst participants.

These qualified instructors now have the opportunity to deliver the program within their practice or organisation, to existing and new clients to improve their strength and balance to prevent slips, trips and falls. There will also be follow-up sessions provided for participants in Albany and Perth to enable ongoing practice, workshop solutions to common barriers to program delivery, and further improve upon their skills to deliver Tai Chi for Arthritis.

If you would like to attend an upcoming Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention instructor training please register your interest via email at info@stayonyourfeet.com.au. People eligible to participate in the training are:

  • Tai Chi teachers or advanced Tai Chi students,
  • Allied health professionals (Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Allied Health Assistants), Nurses, General Practitioners, Accredited Exercise Instructors, Fitness Instructors.

Perth workshop participants:

Perth Tai Chi for Arthritis Particpants

Albany workshop participants:

Albany Tai Chi Participants

Check Your Medicines grants wrap up

Check Your Medicines grants wrap up

The first Stay On Your Feet® grant round aimed to highlight the safe use of medicines and vitamin D intake, which are known to help reduce the incidence of falls in older adults.

Congratulations to the three successful applicants listed below who implemented these innovative campaign projects during the Check Your Medicines campaign, which ran from May to June 2015.

Broadway Pharmacy worked with local health organisations on health promotion opportunities and to increase GP referrals. They hosted an event to promote the benefits of vitamin D and trained pharmacy assistants on vitamin D and the risk of falls.

South West Women’s Health Service worked with Nicole Frayne a researcher and pharmacist to provide “Manage Your Medicines” information sessions throughout the South West. They adopted a capacity building approach to consult with older adults and other community members to provide information and asked for their assistance in developing a local educational resource.

Wheatbelt Public Health Unit linked up older adults with existing local medicine review programs. The project promotes actions to reduce falls and gives away resources which reinforce the importance of medication management. The project is also drawing inspiration from the NHS Medicine Passport Project [MPP] and is using multiple strategies such as increasing opportunities for Home Medication Reviews. The program is now self funded and with the support of the partnerships gained through the grants program it is continuing to run in the Wheatbelt.

Older adults leaning to tai chi for relief

Tai Chi is fast becoming a popular activity to reduce the effects of arthritis and falls in older adults.

One quarter of falls among older people are the result of poor balance as well as arthritis related changes in their walking style. However older people can maintain and even regain their strength, balance and mobility by staying active with Tai Chi.

To cope with increasing public demand for pain and falls relief, the team from Stay On Your Feet® are bringing Tai Chi for Arthritis instructor training to Nedlands this September.

“There is a need for more physiotherapists, occupational therapists, certified fitness instructors and allied health assistants to offer Tai Chi to older adults”, says falls prevention manager Ailsa Dinnes.

Tai Chi for Arthritis is easy to learn, effective and safe. Tai Chi for Arthritis can reduce older people’s risk of falling by improving their flexibility, muscle strength, increasing heart and lung activity, improving balance and integrating mind and body. Instructors of Tai Chi for Arthritis can also reap these benefits from their teaching of others.

Tai Chi for Arthritis workshops will be delivered by occupational therapist and master trainer, Rani Hughes on Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 September.

Amassed with over 15 years of teaching experience, Rani has noted Tai Chi for Arthritis can attract new and retain existing clients, to many health practices or facilities. “Attending this workshop and becoming a certified tai chi instructor, is a worthwhile investment. It is an opportunity for you to improve the wellbeing and safety of older adults within the community”, says Hughes.

Tai Chi for Arthritis is being hosted by leading WA falls prevention agency, Stay On Your Feet®, during their three month Build Your Balance campaign. It is one of many Move Improve Remove projects helping to reduce the incidence of falls in older adults.

If you are interested in reducing the risk of falls in older adults by delivering the Tai Chi for Arthritis for Falls Prevention program, please visit the event page and register here.

South West Women’s Health Service Check Your Medicines Grant Winner

South West Women’s Health Service have used their successful Stay On Your Feet® grant to run Check Your Medicine workshops for older adults in Northcliffe, Manjimup, Capel, Donnybrook, Busselton, Brunswick and Boyup Brook.

Pharmacist and Home Medicine Review consultant Nicole Frayne noticed how empowered her audience felt about learning how they could self-manage their use of medications.  Due to the quick acceptance that medicines can cause side effects, most of the discussion focused on good medicine management and alternate treatments.

Nicole suggested the eager discussion and success of her workshop was due to the relevance of the topic to the audience. Many participants were aged between 65 – 75 years. All were taking medicines and some had experienced a fall. Personal experience is a great motivator!

Whilst South West Women’s Health Service are long term promoters of falls prevention, Nicole admitted her surprise that many adults had not heard that falls are preventable or of the Stay On Your Feet® message.  “We have to keep delivering the prevent slips, trips and falls message!”

Nicole encourages more community centres to get involved with the Check Your Medicine initiative.  She recommends the Check Your Medicine brochure and paper bag as well as the NPS medicine review as particularly useful tools! Check Your Medicine brochure and paper bag orders and delivery are free by visiting the Online Ordering System.

New FREE ‘Build Your Balance’ presentations starting September

Did you know that your balance declines as you get older? The great news is that it doesn’t have to. You can maintain and even improve your balance to help you avoid a fall and stay independent. Your balance keeps you safe and helps you to stand, walk, reach and climb; assisting you with activities you do every day.

The information covered in the new 30 minute Build Your Balance presentation includes:

  • Overview of Stay On Your Feet® and how moving your body, improving your health and removing hazards can prevent falls
  • Why balance is important and how maintaining and improving balance can reduce your risk of a fall
  • What factors affect your balance
  • What you can do to maintain and improve your balance
  • Who can help you maintain and improve your balance

Building balance is the best way for an older adult to prevent falls. This NEW presentation is designed to be fun and interesting for participants. Free Stay On Your Feet® information packs are available for all participants who attend the presentation.

To book a presentation simply call us on 1300 30 35 40 or complete the booking form and send it back to us at info@stayonyourfeet.com.au, and one of our team will contact you to confirm your booking.

LiFE Instructor Training a Success!

The first Strength and Balance Instructor Training Course was delivered on Thursday 2 July to a full house of health professionals who have signed up to deliver the Lifestyle-integrated Functional Exercise (LiFE) Program to older adults. The LiFE program is unique in that it aims to embed balance and strength activities within everyday tasks that older adults can complete throughout their day to reduce their risk of falls.

Falls Specialist Program Physiotherapist, Tony Petta, delivered the course with the support of Community West, ICCWA and the Department of health. The training equipped attendees with the knowledge and practical skills required to deliver the LiFE program to older adults safely and effectively.

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Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Health Injury Matters