Falls Links 

 September 2021 | Issue 4 

Welcome to our newsletter

Upcoming Events

9th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference

Live Stronger for Longer

1-3 December 2021

Registrations are open for the 9th Biennial ANZFPS Falls Prevention Conference.

This year's mantra is ‘Live Stronger for Longer’ underpinning the desire to promote strength, independence and wellbeing in ageing. The Conference aims to explore prevention, understanding and mechanisms of falls as well as the broader challenges of engaging communities and the implementation of best practice policy


Key note speakers include:

Prof Teresa Liu-Ambrose, Department of Physical Therapy, University of British Columbia.

Prof Dawn Skelton, Glasgow Caledonian University


Plenary speakers:

- Ms Katrina Anne Potiki Bryant

- Prof Jacqui Close

- Prof Anne-Marie Hill

- Dr Andrea Maier

- Dr Yoshi Okubo

- Dr Courtney Ryder

- Prof Cathie Sherrington

- Dr Daina Sturnieks

- Dr Ruth Teh



Early-bird registration closes: 1st October 2021

Australian and New Zealand Society for Sarcopenia and Frailty Research 21

Mechanisms, Measurement and Management

4-6 November 2021

This is a multi-disciplinary meeting bringing together basic scientists and clinicians from exercise physiology, physiotherapy, nutrition, medicine, nursing, epidemiology, health economics and public health. Sarcopenia and frailty are potentially devastating conditions that affect many people globally and present a major challenge to the functional independence and quality of life of our older population. The theme of this year’s meeting is Mechanisms, Measurement and Management. Our innovative and dynamic program will showcase new knowledge on how these conditions originate, and how they can be measured and managed in clinical settings.

Healthy and Active for Life Online Study

Healthy and Active for Life Online is a free 10-week online healthy lifestyle program for adults aged 60 years and over, and Aboriginal people aged 45 years and over. The program is currently available state-wide and consists of:

Weekly online learning modules and supplementary handouts covering topics such as healthy eating and falls prevention
Online exercise programs and an exercise manual and logbook for participants to complete daily
Regular phone coaching to support and motivate participants throughout the program

The Centre for Population Health are currently conducting a randomised control trial to evaluate their new program Healthy and Active for Life Online.


"This is an exciting opportunity for us to evaluate the effectiveness of an online program in the older community, and indeed is timely given the current restrictions in place in the greater Sydney region and beyond. We would love your support in promoting this study among your networks, family and friends! Please find attached some promotional assets. If you would like some printed flyers, please contact the team via MOH-ActiveAgeing@health.nsw.gov.au. Please find some further information about the program and study below."


About the study:

The Healthy and Active for Life Online study is open to older adults across NSW who live independently in the community, can mobilise in their home without a walking frame and who currently do not participate in a regular exercise program.

Participants who register for the study will either be placed into the Healthy and Active for Life Online program described above, or will receive a set of educational resources. All participants will be asked to complete a survey before their intervention and another survey 12 months later. Participants who complete both surveys will receive a $30 gift voucher.


For more information about the study please visit https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/heal/Pages/online-research-study.aspx, or to chat to one of our team members please email MOH-ActiveAgeing@health.nsw.gov.au

Have Your Say on the annual Council on the Ageing (COTA) NSW 2021 Survey

Every year COTA NSW surveys people over 50 around NSW. The information gathered from these surveys informs our policy and advocacy activities and can help shape government decisions relating to older people. 

In this survey we are interested on your opinion on a range of issues that are impacting Australia now and into the future.

The survey will take around 15 minutes. 

Please share the survey with your friends and family. By participating you also have the chance to win an Apple 8th Gen iPad! 

Take the survey.


Research Update

Wider impacts of COVID-19 on physical activity, deconditioning and falls in older adults

This report has been prepared by the Health Economics and Modelling Team and Older Adults
Team within Public Health England.
Health Economics and Modelling Team: Faizan Mahmood, Stephen Ashton, Abbygail Jaccard*
Older Adults Team: Oliver Rashbrook-Cooper, Carolyn Sharpe, Dalia Youssef

Executive summary
In August 2020, Public Health England’s COVID-19 Cabinet commissioned the Health Economics and Modelling Team (HEMT) to undertake work to identify the wider public health impacts of COVID-19 and carry out modelling in priority areas to quantify these impacts. One of the areas identified as high priority for further work was older people.


This study looks at how the wider impacts of COVID-19 have affected older people (over 65 year olds), with a focus upon deconditioning and falls. Deconditioning – the loss of physical, psychological, and functional capacity due to inactivity – can occur rapidly in older adults, is not straightforward or quick to remedy and, among other health impacts, increases the risk of falls. This, in turn, creates a risk that, without mitigation, would result in an increase in the rate of falls starting in the summer of 2021 as older adults engage in more physical activity as lockdown restrictions are lifted. This increase is likely to continue if levels of physical activity remain at their current reduced levels. This may increase demand for falls services, the strain on hospitals due to emergency admissions and health and social care costs.


This study models the likely effect of the decrease in strength and balance activity observed during the pandemic on people who experience a fall, the number of falls and associated health and social care costs. It also includes scenario analyses, looking at the impact different changes in strength and balance activity levels may have on the rate of falls and health and social care costs. The modelling is informed by strength and balance physical activity and falls prevalence datasets reported in the recent Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey (mid-March to mid-May 2020) and Projecting Older People Population Information, respectively. The strength and balance activity levels recorded were compared against 2019 levels from the corresponding period. Strength and balance activity includes activities such as Pilates, tai chi, bowls, swimming, and the Otago exercise programme, but does not include some very popular types of physical activity – most notably walking, which is not proven to reduce falls risk. The relationship between changes in activity and falls prevalence, has been estimated using a meta-regression derived from information taken from a Cochrane systematic review of exercise interventions for preventing
falls in older adults, which includes over 100 randomised controlled trials. Health and social care costs of falls are referenced from the PHE Falls Prevention ROI Tool


The report contains recommendations which are intended to address deconditioning and improve older adult mental and physical health while simultaneously reducing falls risk. The report recommends that older adults who have deconditioned increase their levels of strength and balance activities so that they can also safely resume activities they engaged in before the pandemic, such as other forms of physical activity, social activities, accessing healthcare, and work.


Our vision is to lead the way in fall prevention and other healthy ageing initiatives by harnessing expert knowledge and being collaborative in all we do.


We work closely with researchers, policy makers, health practitioners and community service providers in the development and promotion of healthy ageing services and programs with a focus on preventing falls and fall-related injury.


Our purpose is to support practitioners to improve the lives of older Australians through healthy ageing initiatives with a focus on preventing falls and fall-related injuries.


Do you have any news on Falls Prevention or healthy ageing that you want to share with others on the network, or report on a project that is happening in your area. We also welcome suggestions for articles and information you would like to see in this newsletter. Send your news and suggestions to: fallsnetwork@neura.edu.au

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Contact Us:

Telephone +61 2 9399 1063

Email fallsnetwork@neura.edu.au


Our mailing address is:
NSW Falls Prevention Network
Neuroscience Research Australia
PO Box 1165
Randwick NSW 2031


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