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



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”

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.

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

Increasing choice and flexibility in home care and what it means for you

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