Connection at your fingertips

As we get older, being socially connected becomes even more important for our health and well-being. The simple act of having someone to talk to can have a positive and meaningful impact on your life.

We are excited to launch Community Connect, a FREE and easy-to-join social connection program for older adults living in Western Australia, to help keep a healthy mind and reduce social isolation. 

Each month, Community Connect links you with members of the community for a friendly chat. Connecting is easy, simply use email, phone or even video call, such as FaceTime. You can share stories, activities and get to know your community, all from the comfort and safety of your home.   

If you, your family member, friend, neighbour or client would like to join Community Connect, register here.

Or, if you would like to find out more about Community Connect, please do not hesitate to contact Shaan Brems on 6166 7688 or [email protected]

Ironbark falls prevention program

Injury Matters is pleased to have been supporting the Ironbark Research Project in Mirrabooka and Bunbury for the past two years.

The Ironbark falls prevention program is a group-based yarning and exercise class that aims to improve social and emotional wellbeing, independence, mobility, strength, balance and overall physical activity levels among participants. Every week the class includes 45 minutes of exercise and a 45-minute yarning circle. These classes are facilitated by a trained health professional and by Aboriginal research assistants for 10-20 older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who live independently in the community.

This Aboriginal fall prevention research is led by Professor Marion Kickett and Professor Anne-Marie Hill at Curtin University alongside PHD student Ms Margaret Gidgup. If you are interested to find out more about Ironbark contact Professor Anne-Marie Hill at  [email protected]

Shire of Harvey – Community Safety and Crime prevention workshop

On Thursday, 13 May 2021, over 50 Key stakeholders including the Department of Justice, Police, Ambulance, Youth workers, local schools, WA Community Health Service, Headspace and Injury Matters as well as interested community members attended the Community Safety and Crime Prevention workshop hosted by the Shire of Harvey.

On Thursday, 13 May 2021, over 50 Key stakeholders including the Department of Justice, Police, Ambulance, Youth workers, local schools, WA Community Health Service, Headspace and Injury Matters as well as interested community members attended the Community Safety and Crime Prevention workshop hosted by the Shire of Harvey.

The workshop involved small group discussions rotating every 10 minutes.  Each small group discussed the themes Community Safety, Injury Prevention, Crime Prevention, Road Safety, Families and young people, Emergency Management. For each theme, the small group was asked to outline what they thought the issues and trends were, what their organization could contribute and what they believed the Shire of Harvey could be doing to help address the issues.

All participants were able to comment on five different themes throughout the morning.  The results were recorded and will be collated by Shire of Harvey to inform the development of their Community Safety and Crime Prevention Plan.

Want to know more about injury in regional WA?

Our Know Injury program has resources dedicated to injury in WA regional areas – from the Kimberley to the South West – to increase injury prevention and community safety practitioners understanding of the incidence of injury in WA.

Injury Matters Position Statement on the ACNC Health Promotion Charities Definition

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) is the national regulator of charities and was established under the ACNC act. The ACNC has a sub-classification of charities called Health Promotion Charities. The current definition of a Health Promotion Charity is “An institution whose principal activity is to
promote the prevention or the control of diseases in human beings”.

Given that the current definition of an ACNC Health Promotion Charity is limited to the prevention or control of diseases in human beings, it excludes injury from its interpretation.

Injury Matters supports the need for the Australian Government to recognise the prevention of injury as a priority and advance changes in legislation to extend the Health Promotion Charities definition beyond disease, and to include the prevention of injury. Changes in eligibility to qualify as a Health Promotion Charity would enable injury prevention organisations to have a greater impact on the reduction of injury in Australia, which will result in an overall improvement to the health of Australians.

Click here to access Injury Matters’ full position statement.

Falls Prevention made easy!

Are you looking to increase your knowledge of how you can Move Your Body to prevent falls? Through the Stay On Your Feet® program, access free online learning from the comfort of your own home and complete modules at your own pace.

Are you looking to increase your knowledge of how you can Move Your Body to prevent falls? Through the Stay On Your Feet® program, access free online learning from the comfort of your own home and complete modules at your own pace.

The new Move Your Body Online Learning Module allows you to improve your awareness and knowledge of the importance of strength and balance for healthy ageing and preventing falls.

To complete the first Module, simply:

  1. Click the button below to go to the Online Learning page.
  2. Register for an account.
  3. Confirm your email address.
  4. You are now ready to learn!

Injury Matters in Gingin

On Wednesday the 19th of May, the Injury Prevention team travelled to Gabbadah to deliver a Move Improve Remove presentation to local residents, organised by the Weight Watchers group.

On Wednesday the 19th of May, the Injury Prevention team travelled to Gabbadah to deliver a Move Improve Remove presentation to local residents, organised by the Weight Watchers group.

The participants engaged in conversation about ways to move their body, improve their health and removing hazards in and around their home.

Our Stay On Your Feet® program offers free presentations which help to educate older adults on the important steps they can take to reduce their risk of falling. We present to community groups using our team of trained volunteers who come from a range of backgrounds and are passionate about healthy active ageing.

The 45-minute presentations take the group through simple tips that they can use to prevent slips, trips and falls. The presentations can either cover all of the Move Improve Remove tips, or focus on specific topics such as home safety, physical activity and eating well. 

Spotlight: The Kwinana Falls Prevention Project

The winner of the Outstanding Achievement by a Local Government in Injury Prevention or Recovery Support Award was the City of Kwinana and the South Metropolitan Health Service’s Kwinana Falls Prevention Project. 

In acknowledgement of the significant contribution that WA Local Governments can make to preventing injury and promoting safety within their communities, the 2021 Injury Mattes Injury Prevention & Safety Promotion Awards included an Award dedicated to Local Government initiatives.

The winner of the Outstanding Achievement by a Local Government in Injury Prevention or Recovery Support Award was the City of Kwinana and the South Metropolitan Health Service’s Kwinana Falls Prevention Project.  

The Kwinana Falls Prevention Project was a collaborative project facilitated by the City of Kwinana and South Metropolitan Health Service in 2020 and is an example of the positive impact that a grassroots program can have for local community members.  

David Beattie (Injury Matters), Callum Prior (City of Kwinana), Peter Erceg (South Metro Health Service), Jessie Burke (City of Kwinana), Haylee Bullock (South Metro Health Service), and Sandy Lukjanowski (Injury Matters).

Falls are the leading injury-related cause of hospitalisation in City of Kwinana residents aged 45 years and over, highlighting the importance of this project which aimed to increase older adult’s knowledge and awareness of falls prevention strategies.  

The project involved a series of workshops that focused on the modifiable risk factors to prevent falls, including medication management, strength and balance exercises and healthy nutrition. Supported by local health professionals and services, the project was well-received, with participants reporting increased knowledge of risk factors for falls and confidence to complete falls prevention behaviours.  

It is great to see the leadership that South Metropolitan Health has taken in working alongside their Local Governments to prioritise injury prevention.

Congratulations to the Kwinana Falls Prevention project team on winning this year’s Outstanding Achievement by a Local Government in Injury Prevention or Recovery Support Award.  

Spotlight: South West Aboriginal Medical Service, Barang Koorliny Program

Barang Koorliny, which means ‘Get Moving,’ was developed and delivered by the South West Aboriginal Medical Service as a series of workshops, to educate local Aboriginal people of the importance of strength, balance and physical activity to prevent falls.

The 2021 Injury Matters Outstanding Achievement in Injury Prevention or Recovery Support Within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities Award winner was the South West Aboriginal Medical Service’s Barang Koorliny Program.  

Barang Koorliny, which means ‘Get Moving,’ was developed and delivered by the South West Aboriginal Medical Service as a series of workshops, to educate local Aboriginal people on the importance of strength, balance and physical activity to prevent falls.  

Injury Matters’ Sandy Lukjanowski (L) and David Beattie (R) with the SWAMS team.

SWAMS achieves fantastic outcomes through their work for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, by providing healthcare, health information and a range of other services that complement a holistic approach to health. 

Barang Koorliny is an exemplary example of how the team at SWAMS support the health of the local community through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention methods. 

The program was delivered by a multidisciplinary team, including local health promotion professionals, podiatrists, and exercise physiologists, to increase awareness of local services and reinforce that falls are preventable. Importantly, Barang Koorliny was developed in consultation with local Elder groups and guided by evidence from existing programs that are attended by the target demographic.  

Did you know taking medications can influence your driving?

Medications play an essential role in keeping us healthy and managing our health conditions. However, certain medications may also influence how alert we are and further affect our ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. Medications refer to prescribed medicines, over the counter preparations, herbal medicines and remedies and can come in a variety of different formulations such as tablets, liquids, inhalers, drops, creams, patches and suppositories.  

Common medications on white table panadol pharmacy choice vitamin d

Groups of medications that can affect your ability to drive 

Some of the more common groups of medications that can affect and influence your ability to drive safely include:  

  • Cold and allergy products 
  • Sleeping tablets  
  • Pain killers (such as opioids) 
  • High blood pressure & heart medications 
  • Antidepressants and antipsychotics 
  • Benzodiazepines and other anxiety medicines 
  • Medicinal cannabis 
  • Anti-nausea/motion sickness medicines 

Side effects to watch out for 

There are many ways in which medication may affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery effectively. Some of the common side effects include: 

  • Making you feel drowsy or tired  
  • Affecting coordination 
  • Becoming dizzy, lightheaded or feeling faint 
  • Feeling confused or having poor concentration  
  • Feeling anxious or making you feel shaky and unsteady  
  • Experiencing mood changes 
  • Causing nausea and/or vomiting 
  • Problems with eyesight and/or hearing 
  • Slower and more delayed reaction times 
Heavy Vehicle worker tying down truck

Your responsibility as a heavy vehicle operator 

It is important to be aware of what medications you are taking and the side effects that they can cause. Whilst some prescription medications can have potential negative side effects (as listed above), it is also important to note that some medications may also enhance your ability to drive due to their role in improving the medical condition. To figure out what effect your medications may have, it is important to always speak to your GP or pharmacist about them whilst also voicing any concerns or queries you have. Other actions you can take to learn more about the effects of your medication include:  

  • Reading the warning labels listed on the box of medication 
  • Reading the medicines information that can often be found inside the box or printed for you by your pharmacist  
  • Discussing with your GP or pharmacist the timeframe in which you can take the medication as some medicines stay in the body for longer periods of time (>24 hours) and can affect your driving on the road hours later. 

More medication resources 

Injury Matters have a range of resources that can help in identifying ways to reduce your risk of medication-related incidents on the road. Visit our ‘Know your medication’ blog post for further information on how to increase your safety on the road as well as the ‘Know Your Medications to Stay Alert toolkit’

Spotlight: Holyoake Wheatbelt Community Alcohol & Drug Service

Recognising the key partnerships and collaborations are key to achieving shared solutions and positive injury outcomes for the WA community.

Recognising the key partnerships and collaborations are key to achieving shared solutions and positive injury outcomes for the WA community. 

In recognition of this, the 2021 Injury Matters Outstanding Achievement in Collaboration for a Safer WA Award was awarded to the Holyoake Wheatbelt Community Alcohol & Drug Service.  

David Beattie (Injury Matters), Matthew Steffel (Holyoake), Jo Drayton (Holyoake), Jo-Anne Woodruff (Holyoake), Mario Gallo (Holyoake), and Sandy Lukjanowski (Injury Matters).

The Holyoake Wheatbelt Community Alcohol & Drug Service’s Prevention Team assist and support over 100 communities and 30 local governments throughout the Wheatbelt and are a great example of what collaboration can achieve. The team are highly regarded within the Wheatbelt region for their efforts in working to prevent the harms associated with alcohol and drug misuse. 

The team deliver a range of injury prevention initiatives, which are guided by state and national evidence-based frameworks initiatives. These initiatives include; the delivery of training developing suicide prevention and alcohol and other drug management plans, maintaining the Wheatbelt Professionals Wellbeing Portal and providing postvention support to people impacted by suicide. 

Collaboration plays an important role in the delivery of work done by the Wheatbelt Community Alcohol and Drug Service Prevention Team with regional or place-based partners. These collaborative activities, alongside the strong inter-agency networks, have contributed to significant improvements in safety within the Wheatbelt region and overall work to achieve a safer WA.   

Injury Matters congratulates the Holyoake Wheatbelt Community Alcohol & Drug Service on winning the 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Collaboration for a Safer WA Award.