2019 Western Australian Falls Report

Injury Matters has launched the 2019 Western Australian Falls Report. It is the first of its kind in WA, highlighting the incidence of falls-related fatalities, hospitalisations, and emergency department attendances in the state.

Falls are a significant public health issue affecting Western Australian families and the economy, with falls ranking as the leading cause of injury fatalities and injury hospitalisations in WA.

This report is a vital step in understanding the incidence of falls in Western Australia and implementing effective falls prevention policy and initiatives. Injury Matters developed the report with funding from the Western Australian Department of Health.

Read the 2019 Western Australian Falls Report below.

2019 WA Falls Report Cover Page



Move Your Body Campaign Launch

Last week, we launched the newest Stay On Your Feet® Move Your Body campaign at Melville LeisureFit on the 4th of September at 2pm.

Last week, we launched the newest Stay On Your Feet® Move Your Body campaign at Melville LeisureFit on the 4th of September at 2pm.

Community members enjoyed a Tai Chi and Active Light exercise class before a light afternoon tea, while learning the importance of staying active at every stage of life, especially as we age.

It was a great day connecting with the community and providing all in attendance the opportunity to find or reconnect with a passion for moving their bodies. See some images from the day below!

It’s never too late to start moving your body, to find out more about the campaign, visit the Stay On Your Feet® website.

Move Your Body grants now open

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants, , available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019.

Expressions of interest now open for the Stay On Your Feet® Move Improve Remove grants. The grants, available in amounts up to $5000, will fund projects running between 1 September and 30 November 2019. The campaigns key messages and calls to action focus on the importance of improving older adults balance and leg strength to prevent falls by finding enjoyable activities that allow for ongoing improvement.

Grants are open to community groups and not-for-profit organisations, health professionals, community workers and fitness professionals working with older adults, retirement and lifestyle villages, local government and population health units. Hospitals, residential care facilities and applicants without an ABN are not eligible.

Click here to download the Move Your Body grant application form or visit https://www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/health-professionals/campaigns/grants/ to find out more.

Strengthen Your Legs Launch in Geraldton

Our Strengthen Your Legs Campaign was launched with an event at the Queen Elizabeth II (QEII) Centre in Geraldton on Wednesday 5 September 2018. Over 100 people attended the launch event, including 82 community members and a range of local health and fitness professionals.

The day started with an introduction to the Strengthen Your Legs campaign by Injury Matters Injury Prevention Manager Rachel Meade, the first public viewing of the Strengthen Your Legs with Julie animation, a talk about the importance of leg strength by Dr Elissa Burton and a personal testimonial by local community member and Balance Gym volunteer Molly Thompson.

After this, the participants got moving with an exercise class run by Liam Kessel from the WA Centre for Rural Health, a range of ‘Have A Go’ activities led by Seniors Recreation Council volunteers and a Tai Chi demonstration by the Taoist Tai Chi Association after lunch.

The day was a great success with lots of positive feedback from those who attended, who said the event was both informative and fun.

‘I would like to provide some positive feedback on the wonderful job the ladies did organising the Geraldton event. They were highly organised, friendly and welcoming to participants and I have received many positive comments from senior attendees on how enjoyable and informative the day was. We had a great turnout and would love to hold the session again in the near future’– QEII Seniors Programming Officer

The Stay On Your Feet® Program: Year in Review

We would like to thank all those that participated in Stay On Your Feet® in 2017-2018! In the 17th year of the Stay On Your Feet® program Injury Matters continued to deliver falls prevention activities and expanded the program to reach more communities and regions in Western Australia (WA). Continue reading “The Stay On Your Feet® Program: Year in Review”

We’re partnering with the Town of East Fremantle to help residents stay on their feet

The Town of East Fremantle and Injury Matters are joining forces for a six month project to help combat falls amongst older adults living in the local government area. Falls are the leading cause of injury in the Town of East Fremantle, accounting for 463 hospitalisations and 7 fatalities between 2012 and 2016.

Continue reading “We’re partnering with the Town of East Fremantle to help residents stay on their feet”

Make Your Home Safer with Frank and Tiddles animation

Injury Matters is excited to launch our latest resource as part of the Stay On Your Feet®  Make Your Home Safer campaign – a short animation called Make Your Home Safer with Frank and Tiddles. The engaging animation is aimed at older adults living independently in the community and highlights simple, low cost ways to make your home safer to prevent falls, with a fun and humorous twist through the character Frank and his cat Tiddles.

Visit  www.stayonyourfeet.com.au/video to watch or contact us for a copy to play in your waiting room.

Make Your Home Safer Campaign Launch

On Thursday 1 February 2018 Injury Matters’ Stay On Your Feet® program launched the Make Your Home Safer Campaign in Halls Head.  Make Your Home Safer looks at the importance of making simple and often low cost changes both inside and outside of the house to help prevent slips, trips and falls. With around half of all falls happening in and around the home, it is important for older adults to make their homes safer.

The campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of removing hazards around the home as a strategy to reduce falls among older adults and encourage confidence in independent living. For health and community workers helping older adults to stay healthy and independent for longer, the campaign offers information and services which describe simple and low cost changes to an older person’s environment.

The campaign is suitable for older adults who are already independent and wish to stay in their homes, and older adults who may be less independent than they previously were and can benefit from making changes to regain their independence.

The Make Your Home Safer campaign toolkit is a one stop shop for getting involved in the campaign and includes:

  • How to host and promote your own Make Your Home Safer event
  • The Make Your Home Safer Educator Guide, a guide to help you run a session for older adults
  • The campaigns key messages and calls to action
  • How to share our new animation, Make Your Home Safer with Frank and Tiddles
  • Free brochures and booklets
  • Tips to connect on social media, including ready to use posts and images
  • How to invite Stay On Your Feet® to attend your event.

Click here to download the toolkit.

Fuel Your Body grant winner focuses on nutritional needs of those with end stage kidney disease

One of the successful Fuel Your Body grant winners is based at the University of Western Australia and is using the funds to run an innovative project which is aimed at improving the nutrition and strength and balance of a group of individuals with end stage kidney disease.

These patients require dialysis or a transplant to stay alive, says project coordinator Aron Chakera, who is the Head, Translational Renal Research Group, based at UWA and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Chronic kidney disease affects one in six Australian adults and the incidence is rising Mr Chakera says.

Older adults over the age of 65 are now the fastest growing population on dialysis and currently make up 50% of the dialysis population.

These patients face an increased falls risk of between 13 and 50%(1), with one in seven patients suffering a fracture as a result of a fall, which in turn doubles the mortality risk of this cohort.(2,3) The research shows that older patients on dialysis are more vulnerable to falls due to a combination of risk factors including a sedentary lifestyle, muscle wasting and weakness, renal bone disease and malnutrition.

Malnutrition has been reported in up to 75% of patients on dialysis and this has been linked to frailty and an increased falls risk.(5-7) This project supported by the Stay On Your Feet®  Fuel Your Body grant aims to reduce the risk of falls in a high risk population through evidence based interventions that are aimed at improving their nutrition through the provision of dietary information and providing physiotherapist-led home based exercises to improve their strength and balance.

The project began in February this year and is due to come to an end at the end of this month and has seen an average of four participants for each of the individual sessions and incorporates three nutrition and physiotherapy education and support sessions.

The sessions look at specific topics aimed at maximising nutrition including providing some simple snack and meal ideas and providing simple nutritional assessments as well as providing individualised dietary advice and guidelines.

So far Mr Chakera said the feedback from the sessions had been positive, although numbers were a little lower than he had initially hoped.

“The group has been receptive to the dietary advice given to them however it also revealed a number of misconceptions from patients about what they should be doing and what some of their medications are for, so it also provided an opportunity to provide further education and advice,” he said.

He said the group were showing early signs of being able to self-manage once the program ends and they were continuing to revise the program and materials so that hopefully it would be able to provide direction and guidelines once the patient contact phase was over.

This advice will be linked to a home based exercise program for patients provided by a physiotherapist. The participants will then be encouraged to perform these exercises at home, based on the Otago Exercise Program, which is a home based program that aims to reduce falls in older adults.

Mr Chakera said it was hoped the program would reinforce the importance of self-management and encourage participants to continue to exercise at home and to be linked with community based exercise groups and a physiotherapy service.

The program will incorporate follow up information on falls frequency together with their compliance with nutritional advice and exercises and will be assessed at 6, 9 and 12 months via phone.

Mr Chakera said he believed the project was innovative because it provides dietary and physiotherapy advice for a group at an extremely high risk of falls.

He said it also provides the best chance of achieving any meaningful and sustainable changes in patient outcomes with the tools developed during this program, with the aim of enabling it to be provided to other dialysis units across the state.

The project includes a number of individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent and   people who are socially isolated.

Ultimately, this innovative project aims to incorporate the information developed during this program and develop it into nutrition and exercise information resources, translated into a number of languages, reflecting the diversity of dialysis patients and will be available at the main dialysis units at Perth’s major hospitals.

Click here for more information about Stay On Your Feet® grants

Farragher J, Rajan T, Chiu E, Ulutas O, Tomlinson G, Cook WL, et al. Equivalent Fall

Risk in Elderly Patients on Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis. Peritoneal Dialysis

International. 2016;1:36(1):67-70.

Kohlmeier M, Saupe J, Schaefer K, Asmus G. Bone Fracture History and Prospective

Bone Fracture Risk of Hemodialysis Patients are Related to Apolipoprotein E Genotype. Calcified Tissue International.1998;62(3):278-81.

Mittalhenkle A, Gillen DL, Stehman-Breen CO. Increased risk of mortality associated

with hip fracture in the dialysis population. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2004;44(4):672-9.

Chan M, Kelly J, Batterham M, Tapsell L. Malnutrition (subjective global assessment)

Scores and Serum Albumin Levels not Body Mass Index Values, at Initiation of Dialysis are

Independent Predictors of Mortality: A 10 Year Clinical Cohort Study. Journal of Renal Nutrition. 2012;22(6):547-557.

Kalanter-Zadeh K, Ikizler TA, Block G, Avram MM, Kopple JD. Malnutrition-inflam

Why alcohol consumption can increase your chance of falling

Alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk of falls in older adults.

However many people may not be aware of what safe alcohol consumption levels are as they age and that its effects can be amplified as a result of the natural ageing process.

Alcohol consumption is known to cause poor judgement, coordination problems and a lack of balance, increasing an individual’s falls risk.

The Fuel Your Body campaign, which runs until 30 April 2017, looks at ways of addressing these issues and aims to ensure older adults are well informed about the effects of alcohol consumption on the body.

The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce the incidence of falls and falls-related injuries, which are the leading cause of hospitalisation of adults over the age of 65 in Australia and cost the WA Health System on average more than $100,000,000 each year.

Injury Prevention Manager, Rachel Meade, says the campaign has been designed to give older adults in the community basic information around food, alcohol and water consumption that are simple to follow, cost effective and age appropriate.

Accredited Practicing Dietician, Dr Christina Pollard, says limiting your alcohol intake as you age can help reduce the incidence of injuries due to slips, trips and falls as the result of impaired judgement, interference with balance and reduced reaction times due to the impact of alcohol on the body.

“Older people are more susceptible to the toxic effects of alcohol. This may be due to changes in their body composition, decreased metabolic capacity or other disease conditions and medications they use to manage them,” Dr Pollard says.

The Fuel Your Body campaign highlights the importance of drinking less alcohol, maintaining adequate hydration levels and eating a healthy, balanced diet to keep your brain and body healthy and has been developed using the latest evidence and input from expert dieticians in Western Australia.

Stay On Your Feet® is seeking to address these issues by promoting healthy behaviours that improve older Australians physical and mental wellbeing and to reinforce the benefits of preventing falls before they occur.

To find out more about safe levels of alcohol consumption and for further information and support contact Stay On Your Feet® on 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au