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

ICCWA Ambassador Mark Daniels talks about redefining disability at the Grassroots Falls Festival Take Two in Fremantle

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.

Stay On Your Feet to launch new Fuel Your Body campaign on February 1, 2017

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.

Road Trauma Support WA commemorates the 2016 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Fremantle

Road Trauma Support WA commemorates the 2016 World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims in Fremantle

Road Trauma Support WA marked the World Day of Remembrance (WDR) for Road Traffic Victims at Fremantle Sailing Club on Sunday November 20.

The event has been marked across the globe each year on the third Sunday in November to remember the millions killed and injured on our roads each year, together with their friends, families and loved ones and the many others impacted by road trauma across WA.

It is also a day in which we thank the emergency service personnel who attend incidences of road trauma each and every day in the course of their day-to-day working lives and recognise the incredibly challenging work that they do and the impact it has on them both professionally and personally.

Road Trauma Support WA Manager, Sandy Lukjanowski , was joined by WA Minister for Police and Road Safety, the Hon Liza Harvey MLA, RTSWA patron and Director of Trauma at Royal Perth Hospital, Dr Sudhakar Rao and Road Safety Commission WA Director of Governance, Teresa Williams, to mark the occasion with clients and their families and friends, key stakeholders, staff and the broader community.

Ms Lukjanowski said the impact of road trauma was far reaching and often violent, traumatic and instantaneous, causing a ripple effect across both suburban and regional communities throughout WA.

“All too often the victims are young and in almost all of the cases where lives are lost or shattered, these crashes can be prevented,” Ms Lukjanowski commented.

“The impact is long lasting and often permanent and sadly each year, hundreds of families are added to the list of those whose lives have been irreparably changed in a single instant.”

So far this year (*) 161 people, 101 from regional WA, have lost their lives on WA roads, up from 136 at the same time last year, a trend which is sadly being reflected across Australia and the world.

“This special day highlights the loss and suffering of the many thousands impacted each year as well as the social and economic cost of road trauma,” Ms Lukjanowski added.

In addition to addresses from the Minister for Police and Road Safety and the Road Safety Commission, those gathered were moved to hear a personal reflection from one of RTSWA’s clients as well as a musical performance and minute’s silence.