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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
The way in which Home Care is managed in Australia has undergone significant transformation recently and it’s important that older Australians understand what this may mean to them according to ICCWA Chief Executive Sandy Lukjanowski.
Some of this change is a large departure from how Home Care has been delivered in the past, giving older Australians much more choice and flexibility to ensure they can safely remain at home and connected with community.
Consumer Directed Care (CDC) packages have been established to ensure a more individualised, person-centred approach to care.
This means that older Australians are encouraged to work with an approved care provider, to map out personal goals in areas such as independence, health and mobility.
Home Care Standards have been streamlined, which will see the bar rise in terms of the standard of services delivered by approved providers. As with any competitive marketplace this ensures better “deals” and offerings for consumers within that market.
“As with all purchases, we would encourage everyone to review the care they or a loved one is receiving to ensure it best meets the needs of the individual,” Ms Lukjanowski says.
Looking at all items, from quality of care, equipment charges, costs per hour and administration fees and charges as well as the range of services offered by the provider to ensure they meet the needs of the individual.
“The new changes mean that you now have the flexibility to move to a different provider at any stage. So it’s a good idea to compare service providers and shop around.”
You can visit www.myagedcare.gov.au, which provides a wealth of information for consumers and their families or contact them by phone on 1800 200 422.
“It’s a good idea to review and discuss your needs with your Home Care Provider as your needs change and to remember that this funding is yours to be used in the way you feel best meets your needs to maintain your independence at Home,” she says.
Treat this funding as you would money coming directly from your own bank account and ensure that you agree with the way in which all funds that are spent.
Make sure you check your monthly statement closely – this will quickly highlight to you where the bulk of your funds are being spent so you can assess if that is the best use of this money to achieve your goal of remaining at home independently.
Like the old saying goes, prevention is often better than cure! Look at incorporating some measures that are an investment in your future and will allow you to stay at home longer.
In WA in 2012 falls ranked as the most common injury accounting for 32.5% of fatal injuries and 32.5% of non-fatal hospitalisations at a cost of $2.2 billion to the health system.1
In 2012, more than twice as many Western Australians died as a result of a fall than of transport related injuries.1
Stay On Your Feet ® is WA’s leading falls prevention program for older adults living in the community and has proudly been delivered by ICCWA in partnership with Department of Heath WA for over 16 years. The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce falls and fall related injuries to encourage confidence in independent living.
Visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au to test your falls risk, to find out what to do if you have a fall, to access brochures and booklets to help prevent slips, trips and falls and much more!
Incidence and costs of injury in Western Australia 2012. Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate Department of Health WA. Hendrie D, Miller TR, Randall S, Brameld K, Moorin RE
ICCWA and Road Trauma Support WA Ambassador Mark Daniels spoke in front of more than 270 health pracitioners and falls specialists from across WA and Australia at the recent Grassroots Fall Festival Take Two in Fremantle on February 16 and 17.
The two-day conference looked at some of the grassroots falls prevention programs being rolled out across the country and for many introduced a new, fresh perspective on falls prevention.
Mark shared his own inspiring story of recovery from injury and gave those present food for thought in terms of redefining what it means to be disabled and not backing away from a challenge.
You can read more about Mark’s presentation and his own story in the Community Newspaper.
Older adults are at risk of malnutrition as a result of the body’s natural ageing process as well as a range of socioeconomic factors that can result in a poor diet and insufficient nutrition.
The new Fuel Your Body campaign, which is due to be launched by WA’s leading falls prevention program, Stay On Your Feet® early in 2017, will look at ways of addressing these concerns and ensuring that Western Australians over the age of 60 are informed about what a balanced diet looks like as they age.
The campaign will be launched on Wednesday February 1, 2017 at the National Lifestyle Village Lake Joondalup by the Hon Paul Miles MLA, Minister for Seniors, Local Government and Community Services and the local member for Wanneroo, as well as City of Wanneroo Mayor Tracey Roberts and Shadow Minister for Seniors Margaret Quirk as well as a host of special guest chefs, nutritionists and health professionals.
The Stay On Your Feet® program aims to reduce the incidence of falls in older adults in the community, which is the leading cause of hospitalisation of adults over the age of 65 in Australia and costs the WA Health System on average more than $100,000,000 each year.
Injury Prevention Manager Rachel Meade said that the new campaign was designed to give older adults living independently in the community some basic information around food, alcohol and water consumption that were simple to follow, cost effective and age appropriate.
She said malnutrition in older adults was a problem in the community that can lead to impaired muscle function and potential decreased bone density and increases falls-related morbidity and mortality rates.
“This can be as a result of physiological changes in the body, chronic diseases, the side effects of medication and a loss of appetite as we get older.
“However there are other factors to consider like deterioration in quality of life, or a lack of motivation to cook healthy meals for those who may be living alone after the death of a partner for example,” Ms Meade explained.
“This can have a whole lot of repercussions, from the mental to the physical state, which can greatly increase the risk of falls, hospitalisations and the ability of individuals to continue to live independently in the community.”
The Fuel Your Body campaign also highlights the importance of drinking water to avoid complications from dehydration and drinking less alcohol to keep your brain and body healthy.
The three-month campaign launches on February 1 and runs until April 30, 2017 and targets older adults over 60 living independently in the community.
For more information about the Fuel Your Body campaign or for tips on how you can stay active and alert to reduce your risk of falls contact Stay On Your Feet® on 1300 30 35 40 or visit www.stayonyourfeet.com.au.