The Grassroots Falls Festival last week gathered together some of those working on the ground and out in the community in falls prevention.
Kerry Brandis, a Senior Physiotherapist at Busselton Health Campus, penned these words following the two-day conference in Fremantle last week.
I am an older model health professional, with slowing processing speeds and limited memory space. So a massive information download like I recently experienced at the Grassroots Falls Festival (Take 2), carries the risk of causing a systems crash. However, this excellent two-day conference was peppered generously with energizers to keep me engaged. Chris McAfferty MC’ed the event with glee and keynote speaker Prof Leon Flicker approached his science with such light hearted curiosity and wonder that his enthusiasm filled the room with positivity. It seemed that getting older is a wonderful thing, full of exciting possibilities and potential healthy longevity, all to be enjoyed here in WA – the best place on earth! Shaun Nannup took us back to the essence of humanity – love , compassion and openness, and multitalented staff from Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital and Osborne Park Hospital (backed up by the Village People) demonstrated how this could be relayed by song and dance and laughter (did we really laugh out loud at falls videos?)!
A great variety of presenters kept me listening; from the academics with their amazing wealth of knowledge and publish-worthy Randomised Control Trials, to the everyday clinicians who had squeezed time into their busy clinical workload to conduct a local quality project, put together a few slides and be brave enough to stand up and tell us all how it went. Even more inspiring were those who stood up to report that their efforts failed to produce evidence of measurable success – hooray for presenting real life experience!
I came home with thirteen tasks on my ‘To Do List’. That is the sign of a great conference. Thirteen practical, achievable, bite-sized tasks that I feel I have capacity to follow up in the following month, that may just make a difference to my workplace, clients and community, and Mark Daniels echoing in my mind – Dream, achieve, try, take risks, even fail.
Much gratitude to ICCWA for supporting me to be part of this fantastic injection of ideas and enthusiasm.